Russia's first urban toll road, the Western High Speed Diameter (WHSD) construction project, where VTB Capital is a co-investor (sponsor), lender and financial adviser, has received the PFI Award (Thomson Reuters) for the “Road Deal of the Year in Europe” category.
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The jury of PFI editors recognised WHSD for its scale, technical complexity, the project’s financial structure, as well as its positive impact to regional development.
Also today in Moscow the signing ceremony on the closing of the WHSD project agreement was held. In accordance with the loan agreement for the project, signed on 22 June, 2012 investments in the project will amount to RUB206 bn (about USD6.4 bn), including more than RUB120 bn financed under the PPPA during the period between 2012 and 2015. WHSD is the world's largest PPP toll road project.
The WHSD highway will stretch for 46 kilometer and consists of three sections connecting St. Petersburg’s northern, central and southern areas, which will reduce traffic congestion on urban highways and roads by redirecting traffic flows and will redirect cargo traffic to the federal highways, as well as improve connections with the downtown area and Pulkovo airport
VTB Group is a majority shareholder of the LLC Northern Capital Highway, which on 9 August, 2011 was named the preferred bidder in the tender for the right to build the central part and further operation of the WHSD.
Oleg Pankratov, Head of Infrastructure Capital & Project Finance at VTB Capital, Chairman of the Board of the Western High-Speed Diameter, said: "WHSD is a strategically important project for St. Petersburg, determining the development of the city as a major international transport hub. The PFI award is a confirmation of the importance of the project to the city, and the country as a whole. In addition, it is evidence of growing international investment interests in infrastructure projects in Russia ".
Project Finance International (PFI), part of Thomson Reuters, has been the leading source of global project finance intelligence for over 17 years. The annual PFI Awards distinguish the best companies and deals in infrastructure and financial projects across various industries.