As 2017 was ending, transport infrastructure firm Colas UK managed to secure a contract to support construction of the new Ugandan Kabaale International Airport in Hoima.
This counts to be the largest ever UK Export Finance (UKEF) loan to an African government.
The (€270 million) loan will help finance the construction of a new Kabaale international airport in the Hoima region of Uganda.
This is to be the country’s second international airport, opening access for the delivery of equipment, materials and services.
Through enabling vital work to be carried out on large-scale infrastructure and energy projects planned in the area, the airport will have significant long-term benefits for the Uganda’s developing economy and energy independence.
A second phase of development is planned to improve the airport’s capacity to support tourism and international trade mobilitiess at a later stage.
This is the first major project in Uganda supported by UK Export Finance (UKEF), which offers UK-government backed loans to overseas buyers in support of UK exports.
UK Export Finance (UKEF)’s finance will help support work on the construction of the runway, taxiway, cargo terminal and other necessary infrastructure to be undertaken by the UK arm of infrastructure firm Colas UK.
Work is scheduled to commence in January 2018 the month we are in now. Additional financing will be provided by Standard Chartered which acted as the lead arranger for the deal.
Director of Strategic Projects at Colas UK, Carl Fergusson, said: "With huge untapped natural resources, rapid urbanization and attractive demographics, the requirement for investment in mobility infrastructure to support continued regional development is clear and this aligns well with the outward looking international element of the Colas Ltd strategy which seeks to expand our activities in East Africa.”
Carl Fergusson added “Colas are delighted to have been awarded this significant project."
International Trade Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox, said: "The UK is a global leader in the infrastructure sector and I’m delighted that UK Export Finance is helping the Ugandan government and Colas on this significant project.”
Dr. Liam Fox added “As an international economic department, the Department for International Trade is proud to support our trading partners around the world as they invest in their countries’ infrastructure and economic development and enable UK companies to contribute their expertise and share in the benefits of international trade."
According to a broad breakdown of the Kabaale International Airport budget, civil works will take the largest share of the funds, just slightly more than 85 per cent. At least €202.9 million of the project cost is expected to be spent on goods and services for the construction of the airport.
The contractor will spend €61.12 million on local goods and services. Construction of the airport is expected to start in January 2018 and be completed by 2020.
While the airport is expected to ease the transportation of heavy materials needed for the exploration and development of oil resources, the road network remains the key mode of transport for the sector.
The airport will not be the main entry to the area for cargo. From a cost perspective, ship and truck transportation is more beneficial during construction and operational phases.
Only emergency cargo will be flown to Kabaale International Airport during the operations phase.
From a cost perspective, ship and truck transportation is more beneficial during construction and operation phase. In addition, since Total E&P sites are located far from the airport site; it is not likely to be an airport of choice for workers and passenger traffic.
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