Chinese consortium signs deal to build US$1.3 billion sea bridge in Brazil
12.3-kilometre project expected to bolster economic growth in northeastern state of Bahia
18 Nov 2020 | Michael Marray

A Chinese consortium has signed an agreement with Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia to build a sea bridge connecting the city of Salvador and the island of Itaparica. The consortium is composed of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), CCCC South America Regional Company, and China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation.

The 12.4-kilometre-long, cable-stayed sea bridge is viewed as key to the development of Bahia, as vehicles will no longer have to make the long journey around the Bay of All Saints.

Project preparation will take one year, followed by a four-year construction period. The US$1.3 billion bridge is being developed under a public-private partnership, with a 30-year concession to operate and maintain it.

CCCC is responsible for putting together most of the financing and, according to local press reports, Bank of China has led the debt package.

The signing of the contract was scheduled for May, but was postponed until November 12 because of Covid-19, Xinhua News Agency reported. It was signed by Bahia state governor Rui Costa and CCCC vice president Chen Zhong.

"When it is inaugurated, this bridge will be the longest cable-stayed sea bridge in Latin America and will surely add new impetus to the economy, to employment and to the quality of life of the northeast region of Brazil," Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Yang Wanming commented.