Ghanaian rail project takes off with Swedish & South African ECA backing

(TFX News, London, 7 JUly 2021) Most recently Ghana's Ministry of Finance (MoF) signed a landmark €600 million ($712 million) ECA-covered financing deal for the construction of a 100 km section of the country’s Western Railway Line running from Takoradi Port to Huni Valley. Deutsche Bank acted as mandated lead arranger for both loans. The first, backed by EKN and fully arranged by Deutsche Bank, is a €523 million loan covering the bulk of the cost. The second is a €75 million commercial loan arranged and structured by Investec to cover the downpayment on the EKN-backed financing. It is backed by South Africa’s ECIC and funded by a syndicate of Investec Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Nedbank (London branch) and Sanlam life Insurance. The Western Railway line is key to the haulage of agricultural produce and minerals from the middle belt to Takoradi Port in the south of Ghana. [The corridor is home to key bauxite mines, which are the bedrock of the country’s integrated bauxite aluminium masterplan.] The involvement of EKN and SEK reflects the significant number of Swedish sub-suppliers participating in the project. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project is Amandi Investment with Bluebird Finance & Projects acting as lead financial advisor for the EPC. Given South Africa’s expertise and established trade flows in rail projects, Investec and Bluebird Finance & Projects - alongside Amandi, discovered that a multitude of South African rail suppliers could be sourced for this project and in turn reached out to ECIC to support the commercial facility, a first for the South African ECA.