The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) disbursed the first tranche of a £102.5 million (approx. KRW 17.7 billion) loan to finance the remaining construction of the Mersey Gateway Project on November 30. This is the first financing that KEXIM has made in UK infrastructure in collaboration with the British government’s HM Treasury department.
British Ambassador to South Korea, Charles Hay said:
I am really pleased that KEXIM is providing debt finance for the Mersey Gateway road bridge that Samsung C&T is currently building with partners in the north west of England. I was lucky enough to visit the project earlier this year, along with then Ambassador to the UK Lim Sungnam, so I have first-hand experience of its scale and importance, and I was greatly impressed by the excellent UK-Korea collaboration. This is a further example of substantial Korean investment into the UK’s infrastructure, and I look forward to welcoming much more in the months and years to come.
A Korea Eximbank official remarked:
Mersey Gateway Project is the first large scale PPP project for a Korean EPC contractor to enter the UK market, and Korea Eximbank plans to play a decisive role to support Korean construction companies’ entry in to the developed infrastructure market including UK.
Notes to editors
The Mersey Gateway is a six-lane cable stayed toll bridge spanning 2.13km over the River Mersey in the North West of England (Manchester-Liverpool) with a total project cost of c. £600 million.
The project involves a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate the bridge, which is expected to create 4,640 direct and indirect jobs including 470 full-time jobs.
Construction started in May 2014, and the bridge is expected to be completed and open to the public in September of 2017.
KEXIM is investing £102.5 million in the Mersey Gateway Project, alongside HM Treasury providing a 29-year £257 million Mersey Gateway bond as part of UK Guarantee scheme, to finance the remaining construction period of 2 years.
UK Guarantee scheme is government support taking the form of an unconditional and irrevocable financial guarantee (the UK Guarantee) of scheduled principal and interest in favour of a lender to a UK infrastructure project. More information can be found at: www.merseygateway.co.uk.
The Korean construction giant, Samsung C&T, have a 33% in the joint venture (£450 million) to build the bridge.