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Washington, D.C. April 7, 2011 --
A groundbreaking ceremony to be held on Friday will mark the start of construction for a 10 kilometer extension to Jamaica’s only toll motorway. This will reduce traffic congestion on the island’s main route west of Kingston. The four-lane motorway extension between Sandy Bay and Four Paths is expected to reduce travel times, road accidents and emissions and is part of the Jamaican government’s flagship “Highway 2000” initiative. The transport link will stimulate economic growth on the island and construction will create significant direct and indirect employment. .
Essential long-term funding for the $285 million project will be provided entirely by international financial institutions and fill a current funding gap for infrastructure projects. The European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will each lend $53.6 million and Proparco $37.7 million. IFC and PROPARCO will also contribute equity representing $4.6 million and $2.4 million respectively. The involvement of international development finance bodies demonstrates the commercial viability of public private partnership operations in the Caribbean.
“The Jamaica Toll Road is a crucial contribution to improving transport links and promoting economic development in Jamaica. The European Investment Bank is pleased to be a key investor in this flagship project” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President for the Caribbean.
“The Jamaica Toll Road will help to alleviate the severe hurdles to development posed by transport infrastructure. It is a continuation of IFC’s commitment to improving Jamaica’s infrastructure sector,” said Bernie Sheahan, IFC Director for Infrastructure in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The 2000 Highway is a key infrastructure of most importance for the Jamaican development, and on the short term, these major roadworks will foster the island economy. This is the second substantial investment in Jamaica for Proparco within a year,” said Laurent Demey, PROPARCO deputy CEO.
The project includes 10 kilometers of new road, two toll plazas, one 165 meters crossing of the Rio Minho river and 17 other bridges. 27 families will be resettled by the scheme. The Jamaica Toll Road will be operated by TransJamaican Highways Ltd. The project will be designed and constructed by Bouygues TP Jamaica, design and construction is expected to take 23 months.
The European Investment Bank, IFC and Proparco are joint signatories of the Caribbean Joint Action Plan and are committed to working closely together to enhance investment in the region. Increased cooperation and co-financing of crucial infrastructure projects, such as the Jamaica Toll Road, form the basis of this agreement.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank, the European Union’s financing institution, supports investment projects fostering European development aid and cooperation policies and has been a development partner in the Caribbean since 1963.
PROPARCO, the French Development Financial Institution is partly owned by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), with private shareholders from North and South. PROPARCO’s mission is to be a catalyst for private investment in developing countries which targets growth, sustainable development and reaching the Millennium Development Goals. PROPARCO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks worldwide. PROPARCO invests in a geographical area ranging from major emerging countries to the poorest countries, in particular in Africa, and has high-level requirements in terms of Social and Environmental Responsibility.
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