Finance Ministry signs agreement with IFC for North coast Highway project
The Ministry of Finance has signed a financial advisory services agreement, with the International Finance Corporation, for the north coast highway project.
The highway project relates to 3 specific segments of the roadway between Mammee Bay in St. Ann, and Sea Castles in st. James.
A statement from the finance ministry on Thursday, said portfolio minister Dr. Nigel Clarke signed the agreement with the IFC‘s managing director.
The signing was done during the international monetary fund / world bank annual meetings, being held in Washington DC, USA, where Dr. Clarke is also meeting with other multilateral partners on Jamaica’s economic programmes, as well as with international credit rating agencies and investment banks.
The agreement is for the development of the north coast highway project which has an investment value of approximately US$800 million.
This is further to the agreement signed between the government and the IFC in April, regarding the same project.
Dr Clarke noted that in 2021, the government indicated that it would leverage the improvement in Jamaica’s macro-economy to utilise an improved modality for highway infrastructure procurement that is open, competitive and transparent.
He said with enhanced fiscal credibility and entrenched stability, Jamaica is now in a position to put together a complex transaction of this nature with the realistic prospect of attracting large international firms to compete for this kind of opportunity.
Dr Clarke said he is pleased to enter into a definitive agreement with the IFC, whereby they will advise the government on the structuring and execution of this game-changing transaction.
The agreement details that IFC, will provide a full service advisory, that will assist the government, in all steps of project structuring and implementation, through to successful transaction closure, for the expansion, improvement and maintenance of the targeted road segments.
These are, 12.3 kilometres from Mammee Bay to Salem in St Ann, 40.7 kilometres from Discovery Bay in St Ann to Greenwood on the Trelawny / St James border, as well as 6.8 kilometres from Greenwood to Sea Castles in St James.
These services include, carrying out detailed technical, legal, financial, environmental and social studies, designing the bidding process, and implementing a competitive tender that results in a bankable project for investors that meet clear public sector goals.
In addition, working with the IFC will also allow the government to access grant resources that can help finance the cost of the advisory service.
Meantime, IFC‘s Regional Director for the Caribbean Martin Spicer said the corporation has extensive expertise in public private partnerships for large infrastructure projects, and he is confident that this project will be an important boost for tourism, and open up new areas for economic and social development in Jamaica.