The Gold Coast Light Rail Australia has reached financial close for the second stage of the project.
The Plenary Group, the infrastructure company acting as financial arranger, signed a US$420mn agreement with debt and equity investors.
The debt portion is a 13-year term facility provided by KfW-Ipex, Export Development Canada (EDC), Intesa Sanpaolo, BBVA, Mizuho and BTMU. Equity comes from Marubeni, International Public Partnerships, Keolis, Aveng Australia, Palisade and Plenary Group.
The 7.3km Gold Coast Light Rail, also known as GoldLinQ, will be completed in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and will include three new light rail stations.
Plenary Group’s managing director said that to close the financing nine months after the project was announced is “testament to the overwhelming support the project has gained within the financing team”.
He added: “This is the result of clear decision making from both the public and private sector teams and a mutual determination to ensure this project commences on time and remains on track for the Commonwealth Games. Achieving financial close in such a short time frame is an outstanding outcome.”
At the same time that the financing was agreed, the project finance for Stage One of the rail link, which has been operational since 2014, was refinanced.
KfW-Ipex, the German state-owned development bank, is involved due to the presence of a German company in the project development. CPB Contractors is a subsidiary of Germany’s Hochtief Group, and will construct the new track. Rolling stock from Canadian outfit Bombardier Transportation explains the presence of EDC.
Meanwhile, the Gold Coast Light Rail is only one of many projects set to see a cash injection over the coming months.
In its budget at the beginning of May, the Australian government set up a number of infrastructure funds to pay for public transport projects. The A$5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will finance projects in Queensland and Northern Territory, with the first concessional loans expected on July 1.
The same-sized Asset Recycling Initiative will finance projects in New South Wales and Victoria, with the Melbourne and Sydney Metro rail projects set to see a large portion of the A$5bn.