Belgian export credit agency (ECA) Credendo is providing cover for a US$341mn facility to support the expansion of the port of Montevideo in Uruguay.

Credendo is backing 95% of the facility, financed by a consortium of banks comprised of Credit Suisse, ING and KBC.

Spanish lender BBVA and multilateral development bank IDB Invest are providing US$46mn and US$103mn, respectively, in a separate facility to Terminal Cuenca del Plata (TCP), the joint venture between Belgian operator Katoen Natie and Uruguay’s Administración Nacional de Puertos that manages and operates the port.

Both facilities were signed on December 13, 2023.

The project will see the construction of a second wharf capable of receiving ships with a deeper draft, as well as a container yard, which will more than double the port’s international cargo volume.

The extension will improve the port’s efficiency and boost the country’s “competitiveness in foreign trade, generating quality employment and positioning Uruguay as a regional player in logistics”, BBVA says.

“For BBVA, this deal marks a new milestone in our commitment to support Uruguay in its local and international growth,” adds Alberto Charro, BBVA’s chief executive in Uruguay.

In 2021, Katoen Natie invested US$455mn in the expansion of the port’s specialised container terminal and the construction of two new quay walls to enable it to operate 400m-long container ships and accommodate up to four vessels at a time.