UK Export Finance (UKEF) has backed a €415mn project to upgrade infrastructure in coastal Angola, reduce the risk of climate change-related flooding and improve the region’s potable water supply.

The guarantee has been issued under UKEF’s buyer credit facility and is the “largest-ever sovereign transaction” the export credit agency (ECA) has closed in Sub-Saharan Africa, UKEF says.

It covers a £395mn loan arranged by Standard Chartered for the Angolan Ministry of Finance, which will use the funds to finance a €415mn contract with Innovo Group to develop infrastructure in the coastal region of Benguela Province.

The deal was underwritten in October 2023 and announced during the Cop28 climate conference.

Made up of 23 individual projects, the upgrade aims to improve the area’s supply of potable water, stormwater channels, drainage networks, sanitation and public lighting in a region vulnerable to flooding, UKEF says.

“Our partnership with Angola is long-standing, and this funding will provide huge benefits to the people of Benguela Province, including new water supplies and protection from the harsh impacts of climate-related events,” says Andrew Mitchell, UK minister for development and Africa.

More than £140 million will be spent on UK exports as part of the deal and 11,000 Angolan jobs will be supported, UKEF says.

This is the latest ECA-backed deal for Standard Chartered in Angola. Recent transactions include one to develop solar energy infrastructure, another to repair a road and a third to construct an animal vaccine production facility, all backed by Germany’s Euler Hermes. Meanwhile, in January, UKEF backed a Standard Chartered loan for the construction of a hospital in Kilamba – also by Innovo Group, operating at the time as ASGC.