(MENAFN- Iraq Business News)
By John Lee.
UK Export Finance (UKEF) , the UK's export credit agency, has announced that it has secured £226 million [$285 million] in financing for the Iraqi government to develop over 350 kilometers of drainage infrastructure as well as 15 kilometers of stormwater and wastewater lifting stations near Hillah city.
Upon completion, the project is expected to help over 25,000 households access clean water in the wider Al-Hillah district, where wastewater is not currently treated.
Supported by UKEF's financing agreements, UK exporters will provide almost half of the project's content, including specialist equipment and installation.
The financing comprises a guarantee for £113 million in financing arranged by Standard Chartered Bank , as sole Structuring Bank, Mandated Lead Arranger and Agent, and a £113 million direct loan from His Majesty's Treasury.
Funds will go to the Government of the Republic of Iraq, allowing the Governorate of Babil to contract GCITJ Babel Limited , a UK joint venture, to deliver the works.
GCITJ describes itself as a dynamic and collaborative Joint Venture (JV) consisting of five multinational companies, formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to execute and deliver Al-Hilla Sewage Project. The companies involved in the JV are:
Baghdad-based Al-Tafweed Company For General Trading : "The JV's domestic consultant and major supporter for allocating financial resources and operating capital, dedicated to fully deliver and secure all financial means set to achieve the JV's objectives." According to Companies House, Al-Tafweed owns at least 75 percent of GCITJ's shares. It's website says: "Al-Tafweed specializes in equipping wide range of materials, heavy-duty machinery, spare parts, and consumer, industrial and medical goods." Turkiye's GAMA Industry : "Extensive expertise and dedication to the forefront. GAMA will be developing and implementing the project's (QEHS) Management System, ensuring adherence to international standards and lender requirements." GAMA Industry is the construction arm of the Turkish company Gama Group, which has also been involved with Iraq's Hartha Power Station. UK-based James Cubitt & Partners (JC&P) : "Our UK-based partner in the JV, brings unparalleled expertise and guidance to support our mission in the project. With their extensive experience in project management and consultancy services." Baghdad-based Al-Ehtifad General Contracting : "As the JV's execution arm, Al-Ehtifad is dedicated to deliver the civil works with the utmost efficiency and in compliance with the required specifications, safety, and environmental regulations." Jordanian Jazirah Al-Mansour Trading & Investment : "Committed to providing crucial support, coordination between the stakeholders to ensure a successful implementation of the project, providing back-office support, and streamlining communication to facilitate seamless collaboration."
Upon completion, the network is expected to process up to 20 million cubic metres of water each year, bringing clean water to over 25,000 households and improved sanitation to hundreds of thousands.
The transaction is expected to support over £100 million in UK export contracts, which make up almost half of the total project value. Turning to the country which gave the world its first modern sewage system, the project will procure equipment and related installation services from the UK.
Lord Offord, Minister for Exports, said:
"With their deep expertise across a range of sectors, UK exporters are leading partners for overseas governments seeking to deliver transformational projects. Works in Al-Hillah will help to bring clean water to tens of thousands of people in Iraq, showing how UK Export Finance can unlock financing and UK innovation for sustainable development around the world."
Faruq Muhammad, Global Head of Structured Export Finance, at Standard Chartered Bank, said:
"We are proud to provide UKEF-backed financing for our important client, the Iraqi government, to improve sewage and drainage infrastructure for local communities in the Al-Hillah district, underpinning our here for good commitment to make a positive difference in the places we call home. Our UKEF financing capability and global network helped us deliver a unique and complex financing, collaborating with multiple companies from various countries."
The drainage network and water treatment systems will also reduce the local risk of diseases from poor sanitation and flooding from stormwater and the nearby Euphrates River. The project will in addition upgrade existing treatment systems so that they can create biogas and phosphorous by-products to support local agriculture.
(Sources: UKEF, GCITJ)
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