A loan agreement was signed today in St. Petersburg between the LLC Northern Capital Highway (consortium including OJSC Gazprombank where VTB Group is the majority shareholder) and a syndicate of banks comprising VTB Capital Plc, OJSC Gazprombank, State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Eurasian Development Bank (EDB).
According to the agreement the banks will provide funds to Northern Capital Highway to build the central section for toll roads – the Western High Speed Diameter (WHSD). The funds amount to approximately RUB 60 bn and the financing of the project will be partly provided by the budgets of the Russian Federation and St. Petersburg. Investment in the project will amount to RUB 206 bn (about USD 6.4 bn), including more than RUB 120 bn during 2012-2015. This makes the WHSD the world's largest public-private partnership (PPP) project in the toll road construction sector.
In addition, the signing of the primary contract between the Northern Capital Highway consortium and the joint venture of Turkish and Italian construction group IC-Astaldi was agreed, under conditions which are determined by the construction of the central section of the WHSD. The central portion of WHSD is the most technically complex, and includes three bridges and a tunnel.
The project involves contractors familiar with local construction and with considerable experience in implementing the most complex projects, such as the renovation of Pulkovo airport.
The Western High Speed Diameter is Russia's first toll road in a city. It is a 46 kilometer highway, consisting of three sections connecting the north, center and south of St. Petersburg. The purpose of WHSD is to reduce traffic pressure on urban highways by redirecting traffic flows, to withdraw the trucks from the Seaport districts to the federal highways, as well as improving connections between downtown and Pulkovo airport. The project involves the most advanced transportation technologies, as well as introducing advanced information systems controlling travel and traffic management, including toll e-payment using stickers on vehicle windscreens.
, Head of Infrastructure Capital & Project Finance at VTB Capital, said: "The Western High Speed Diameter is one of the most technologically advanced highways in Russia and a great example of implementing a public-private partnership. Today's signing of a number of key agreements is a defining step in the development of the project, which bring us much closer to a successful conclusion. We are proud of our participation in the world's largest PPP project in the field of transport infrastructure."
On August 9 2011 the MCC consortium was declared the winner in the competition for the PPP agreement regarding the construction and operation of the Western High Speed Diameter, organised by the Government of St. Petersburg.
Head of Press