Rwanda In Search For Lenders For Bugesera Airport Project

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Rwanda is on the lookout for lenders to accelerating  the completion of Bugesera Airport, which is scheduled for 2020, infrastructure minister Claver Gatete said.

Gatete added that the government is working with Portuguese logistics firm Mota-Engil to “get the adequate financing necessary for construction to completion.”

However, Gatete was skeptical about the completion timeline, adding that it will be determined by the operational reality surrounding the project.

“Usually, when you’re implementing such a big project, there are certain things you keep modifying as you go, especially improving the design, mobilising resources and other things. These technical issues affect many things as you implement they will determine its completion date.”

Mota-Engil began construction in August 2017 through a public-private partnership, which grants it the rights to operate the airport for 25 years to recoup its total investment, estimated at about $820 million, with an option to extend the agreement for 15 years.

President Paul Kagame said in December 2018 that the construction designs for the airport had been updated for improvement.

“The design was all over the place. We wanted to make improvements in design and quality and even expand it,” he said at a press conference.

The first phase of construction is estimated to cost $418 million while the second phase will cost $382 million.

Rwanda’s stake in the airport remains undisclosed, but in 2017, it liquidated its stake in I&M Bank to raise Rwf11.5 billion ($13.6 million) to fund its equity in the project.

When asked, Gatete said: “We discuss with our lenders regarding the funding and if there is any change we will inform you.”

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