SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 28 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it plans to provide a project finance loan of up to € 85 million (100 million dollars) to support the Sofia airport concession in Bulgaria.
The EBRD will grant the loan to Sofia airport concessionaire SOF Connect AD – a special-purpose vehicle owned by a consortium led by French investment firm Meridiam, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
The project finance loan will be part of a larger debt package worth 250 million euros, provided jointly with other international financial institutions and commercial banks, the EBRD added.
The EBRD will decide whether or not to approve the loan on December 2.
The funding would support the expansion of private sector participation in the infrastructure sector in Bulgaria, the EBRD said, adding that the project will include modernization and upgrading of strategic airport infrastructure in the country.
“The Bank loan will provide long-term project financing, for a long-lived infrastructure asset, which is not readily available in Bulgaria from local or international commercial banks in the current context of the crisis. market. Considering that the project will be the first large-scale infrastructure concession in the country, the presence of the EBRD in the process is essential to ensure a successful implementation, which makes the Bank highly additional, ”the bank said.
In July, the government signed a contract to award a 35-year concession for Sofia Airport to the consortium. The consortium will invest 608 million euros ($ 703.7 million) in the airport over the term of the contract, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the time.
The number of passengers at Sofia airport fell 58.4% year-on-year to 259,084 in September, according to data from the airport operator.
($ = 0.850221 euro)