Maputo development corridor refinances debt

12 April 2006

Johannesburg, South Africa, 12 April – The Maputo development corridor (CDM) has obtained a 2.9 billion rand (US$473.2 million) to refinance its debt, officials said in Johannesburg Tuesday.

CDM’s toll highway is a joint venture set up 8 years ago by the South African and Mozambican governments as well as some construction companies and banks, known locally as public-private partnerships (PPP).

The joint venture rebuilt the road linking Johannesburg to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city which has a sea port that can serve as an alternative to the port of Durban, on the East coast of South Africa.

Connie Nel, of the South Africa National Roads Agency, said that the government had opted to go ahead with the project in order to ensure the construction of a good-quality road that could attract foreign investment and make trade and tourism easier.

The director of structured debt of Standard Bank, Dipak Patel, said that the financial and operational performance of CDM over the last six years had allowed the company to refinance its debt t get better conditions than those available to it in 1997.

CDM had until now been dependent on investment from Trans African Concessions (Trac), a consortium set up to build, operate and maintain the toll road for a period of 30 years.

Refinancing the project will make it possible to speed up the road’s maintenance program and construction of additional lanes. (macauhub)