Projects financed by the EDB
Financing the Western High Speed Diameter toll road project in St. Petersburg
Russia is implementing one of the world’s largest PPP project in the road transport sector
In April 2013, a syndicate of banks extended the first tranche of the loan for a PPP project to construct the Western High Speed Diameter (WHSD) road in St. Petersburg. Eurasian Development Bank provided over RUB 3 billion to the project operator, Northern Capital Highway (NCH). The funds are intended to finance construction in the first place.
In the early 2000s, several mega-projects were launched in St. Petersburg. Along with the construction of a ring road, one of the largest projects is the WHSD road.
The WHSD is one of the main solutions to St. Petersburg’s transport problems. The strategy behind the WHSD project is to develop transport infrastructure in St. Petersburg and create a robust logistical network in and around the city, which will make it a world-class transport hub. The WHSD project is vital in resolving the city’s traffic problems as it will help to relieve traffic congestion in central areas, take freight traffic from the seaport straight to the motorways and provide direct access from the city’s commercial centre to Pulkovo Airport and other national motorways.
Russia’s first urban toll road will be 46 km long and connect the northern and southern districts of St. Petersburg. The project employs the most advanced transport technologies and traffic management systems.
The road has three sections: northern, southern, and central. The northern and southern sections are being financed from the federal and municipal budgets. The 26.4 km northern section was completed in August 2013. Construction of the 8.5 km southern section, with a capacity of up to 60,000 vehicles per day, began in September 2005 and it was fully opened to traffic in October 2012.The project is part of the Federal Target Programme for Developing the Transport System in Russia in 2010-2015 and is one of the world’s largest PPP projects in toll road construction. The total investment in the project is expected to reach RUB 212 billion.
The central section is due to open by 2016. Technically, this is the most complex section, incorporating a double-deck bridge over the Sea Canal that is 52 m high and has a central span of 168 m. It also incorporates a cable-stayed bridge over the Ship Canal and an extradosed bridge (a type of cable-stayed bridges) over Peter’s Canal. On Vasilevsky Island, the road enters a 6 m deep half-tunnel and there is a closed tunnel at the crossing with the Smolenka River.
In June 2012, a syndicate of banks including EDB, VTB Capital, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed an agreement to provide a loan to NCH, which arranges the financing and construction of the central section. The consortium will operate the road under a thirty-year concession agreement and the lending banks will provide around RUB 60 billion to it to build the central section. EDB’s investment is RUB 10 billion.
Since the loan agreement was signed, the WHSD project has received a number of prestigious awards from specialised international magazines: European PPP Transaction of the Year (Infrastructure Investor, 2012), European Toll Road Deal of the Year (Project Finance, 2012), European Road Deal of the Year (Project Finance International, 2012), and Best Urban Development Project in Europe (World Finance, 2013).