China backs Argentine highway PPP

China backs Argentine highway PPP

Loans Project & Infrastructure Finance Economy & Policy Debt Argentina

China Construction America (CCA) and its local partner Green have secured at least $1bn in financing for the Corredor B toll road public-private partnership (PPP) in Argentina, LatinFinance has confirmed.

A banker at ICBC said it was supporting CCA and Green on the project, but he did not provide details. LatinFinance has heard that Bank of China and SMBC are also on the $1.18bn loan, but it did not reach the banks for comment. Agustina Izurieta, the PPP program coordinator at the finance ministry, said CCA and Green had lined up a $1bn loan, but she did not name the banks.

CCA, part of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), and Green signed the $2.13bn PPP contract in July, marking CCA's first investment in Argentina. CCA and Green will build the 538km Corredor B toll road and operate it for 15 years.

Argentina has granted PPP contracts for five other toll roads, but those projects are still looking for financing, Izurieta said. The highways require $5.5bn in investments to finish construction in 10 years, she added.

Argentina will auction a second round of highway PPPs in the second quarter of next year, Izurieta said.