PFI Awards name Eurasian Development Bank’s financing of Big Almaty Ring Road transport deal of 2020

The Project Finance International (PFI) Awards have selected Eurasian Development Bank's (EDB's) project to finance the construction of the Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD) in Kazakhstan as the transport deal of the year in Europe, EDB said on February 15. The Financial Close Agreement on the project to construct BAKAD was signed by a syndicate of lenders with the EDB as a senior lender in early August 2020. The EDB extended £135mn, while the total financing package was worth £585mn.

"We are very pleased to receive this award, which is sort of an Oscar in project finance. The EDB as a senior lender worked in cooperation with its partners - international development banks," said Nikolai Podguzov, chairman of the EDB management board. The 66-kilometre BAKAD road is the first PPP project in the region structured via an open international competitive process and with the involvement of international advisors.

The infrastructure project will help remove a major transport bottleneck in Almaty, increasing the transit throughput capacity and reducing local air pollution. A Turkish-Korean consortium, formed by Alsim Alarko Sanayi Tesisleri, Makyol Insaat Sanayi Turizm, Korea Expressway Corporation and SK Engineering & Construction, was awarded a 20-year concession to construct, operate and maintain the BAKAD road. It will be responsible for the construction of 20 bridges, eight interchanges and 22 overpasses.

Podguzov said: "BAKAD was the first international public-private partnership project in Central Asia. For the Bank, its implementation strategically means the ongoing and step-by-step creation of the Europe-Western China transport corridor. The PFI award means that the foreign financial community recognises the EDB as an advanced bank operating to high international standards.

The road is of paramount importance to Almaty Region and Kazakhstan's economy as a whole. Our Bank has extensive experience and unique instruments to finance cutting-edge infrastructure projects on the principles of public-private partnership. "Today, we are involved in the construction of the fourth phase of the Central Ring Road (Central Ring Road 4) around Moscow.

We are also implementing high-speed highway projects in St. Petersburg. We plan to build up our activities in the area of transport infrastructure in all our member countries - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Tajikistan, using instruments that are unavailable to national development institutions.

I mean the possible participation in the equity of a project vehicle, the provision of equity financing, and the provision of special-purpose tranches to pay interest and loan fees or create reserve accounts."

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