Standard Chartered has announced the signing of a 280-million Euro Social Loan financing for Ghana to develop a section of vital highway, the Eastern Corridor, to transform the country’s transport infrastructure.
In an industry first, Standard Chartered structured the financing to fully comply with the recently published Social Loan Principles (SLPs).
This is the first time a Social Loan has been structured not only in Ghana but on the wider African continent.
A press release said the financing was backed by Euler Hermes, the German Export Credit Agency, and INZAG Germany GmbH, a client of the Bank, is the chosen Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor.
It said Standard Chartered acted as Bookrunner, Mandated Lead Arranger, Structuring Bank, Social Loan Co-ordinator, Original Lender and Agent.
The project is eligible because of its objective to improve the basic transport network, which is categorised as affordable basic infrastructure. The project will also contribute towards meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 91, which relates to industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Desislava Radeva, Director, Structured Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “We are proud to build on our strong relationship with the Ministry of Finance, Ghana to deliver a bespoke ECA-backed solution to enable the development of this critical infrastructure project. We are equally excited to have signed the first Social Loan in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The Ghana Eastern Corridor is the National Road N2 that starts at the Tema roundabout and ends in Kalungugu, the northeastern border with Burkina Faso. Standard Chartered’s financing will fund a particular intersection of the road, otherwise known as Lot 1, which includes two flyovers and interchanges, 11 pedestrian bridges and three mixed bridges in a dual carriageway.
It stretches from the Ashaiman roundabout and ends at the Akosombo Junction, Madina; a distance of 64km.
When completed, the Ministry of Roads and Highways expects the upgraded, tolled route to positively impact the lives of around 500,000 residents from underserved populations.
It will drive employment opportunities and trade, providing shorter access to the port of Tema and will link regions within Ghana, and also to neighbouring countries. Additionally, the intersection will improve road safety and better access to healthcare and other essential services.
Xorse Godzi, Head of Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Plc, said: “Our involvement in the project is a prime example of Standard Chartered living up to its brand promise, Here for good, and supporting our communities. Having operated in Ghana for over 125 years, we are able to advise and play a leading role in tapping liquidity around the world for major sustainable infrastructure projects in the country to help Ghana achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
Naim Danji, Head of Export Finance, INZAG Germany GmbH, said: “INZAG is delighted to execute this project and looking forward to the successful development and construction of this flagship infrastructure for the country of Ghana”.
The transaction is the sixth ECA-supported deal in Ghana arranged by Standard Chartered Bank in the past 12 months, bringing the total amount of financing to over EUR 560 million delivering a wide range of transport and healthcare infrastructure for the Government of Ghana.