Project company Socoprim has received a syndicated loan partly backed by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga) for the construction of a toll bridge in Côte d’Ivoire.

The the Henri Konan Bedié bridge project loan is composed of a €44.5mn subordinated debt and a €127mn senior debt.

The senior debt financing, arranged by the African Development bank (AfDB), closed in April, with AfDB providing €58mn and other lenders – West African Development Bank (BOAD), Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), the Africa Finance Corporation of Nigeria (AFC) and Uk African-focused BMCE Bank – extending the remaining €69mn.

The financing also includes a €28mn equity tranche jointly funded by the construction arm of French telecom company Bouygues Travaux Publics and the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund of South Africa (PAIDF).

Miga ‘s 15-year guarantee is covering the equity contributions of Bouygues Travaux Publics and PAIDF, subordinated and senior loans from AFC, and senior loans from BMCE and FMO, against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, war and civil disturbance, and breach of contract.

Miga vice-president and chief operating officer Michel Wormser says: “Rebuilding infrastructure is necessary to restore stability and underpin Côte d’Ivoire’s promising growth. Miga can play a critical role in helping to secure private sector participation in environments where the perception of risk remains elevated. The project also underscores our commitment to facilitate investment in fragile and conflict-affected countries.”

The €232mn Henri Konan Bedié bridge project, which also received a financial contribution from the Ivoirian government, is the country’s first public-private partnership in over a decade. It will be implemented under a 30-year build-operate-transfer concession agreement

The bridge will consist of two three-lane carriageways over 1.5km. It will link two of Abidjan’s major districts, Riviera (in the north) and Marcory. When completed, 100,000 vehicles per day will be able to use the new road infrastructure.

The works will be carried out by Bouygues Travaux Publics, starting in September 2012 and lasting two years (25 months).
“Abidjan’s existing bridges and infrastructure are under severe strain and unable to manage the city’s growing traffic,” says Olivier Bonnin, commercial director, Bouygues Travaux Publics.

“The government has placed a very high priority on this project and we are pleased to be supporting Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to rebuild.”

Socoprim, the company created to carry out this project, is jointly owned by Bouygues Travaux Publics, Total CI, PAIDF, the Côte d’Ivoire government and the BNI (National Investment Bank).