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IDB approves $73.8 millions for private sector toll bridge in Argentina

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of $73.8 million in financing to the private sector in Argentina for the first toll bridge project of the IDB=s Private Sector Department.

In his closing statement at today´s session of the Bank´s Board of Executive Directors, IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias called the new initiative an exemplary project.

The project, which already attracted significant interest of private banks, consists of a two-lane corridor with a four-lane cable-stayed bridge over the Paraná River in Argentina, connecting the cities of Rosario in Santa Fe province with Victoria in the province of Entre Rios.

The 59.3-kilometer federally owned structure, whose total cost is expected to be $374.2 million, will be built, maintained, and operated by Puentes del Litoral S.A. under a 25-year concession from the Ministry of Economy and Public Works.

The project allowed the establishment of a public-private partnership at the federal and provincial levels with the participation of national and foreign investors and private toll operators, demonstrating the effectiveness of mobilizing private sector risk capital, management, and technology.

In addition, the operation allows the development of a major transportation alternative that provides much enhanced accessibility and mobility to residents of the region and a stimulus to local area renewal and development. The Rosario-Victoria Bridge is a response to the increased economic activity and regional commerce and industrial development that affects the provinces of Santa Fé, Córdoba, and Entre Rios, as well as the city of Rosario. The project will also provide savings in travel time and fuel consumption, expand national and international infrastructure and production, and promote the integration of the countries of Mercosur, the southern South American common market.

The IDB financing consists of a $33.1 million loan from the Bank=s ordinary capital and a $40.7 million syndicated loan with funds provided by commercial banks with subscription of participation agreements with the IDB. Several international banks have already shown interest in participating.

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