The European Investment Bank has agreed to support the N25 New Ross bypass, a 16km new motorway link in County Wexford and County Kilkenny in south-east Ireland that will improve connections from Cork and Waterford to the port of Rosslare and remove a major bottleneck on the N25 route.
The N25 New Ross is the first project in Ireland to be financed under the Project Bond Credit Enhancement financial structure, a joint initiative between the European Investment Bank and the European Commission that seeks to stimulate capital market financing for large-scale transport, energy and communication infrastructure from institutional investors such as insurance companies and pension funds.
This is the third road scheme identified in the 2012 Infrastructure Stimulus Package to be supported by the European Investment Bank, following EUR 252 million provided for the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway and N17-N18 Gort to Tuam motorway schemes in the last 2 years.
“The N25 New Ross Bypass has been eagerly awaited and will be warmly welcomed by all in the south east. This is the second road PPP event I have attended in three months and it is the fourth transport PPP signed by this Government since coming into office. The N25 PPP scheme will bring important economic benefits to the south east and improve regional and international connectivity (through Rosslare Europort). It will also reduce traffic congestion and provide economic benefits regionally and locally by increasing the attractiveness of bypassed communities as places to shop, to visit, to work and to live. I am also very pleased to say that between 250 and 300 jobs will be provided during the construction phase of the scheme, bringing welcome employment and economic activity to the area as the scheme is progressed.” said Paschal Donohoe TD, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.
“I wish to thank Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the project sponsors, the European Investment Bank, international investors and the County Councils for their hard work in getting this scheme over the line and making this important project a reality. I wish BAM Civil and Dragados every success during the construction phase.” added Minister Donohoe.
“The New Ross bypass will provide an alternative for drivers in the south-east of Ireland to avoid the often congested town centre and enjoy shorter journey times on the N25, one of the main routes in the country. This is the fourth road project backed by the European Investment Bank in Ireland in the last three years in cooperation with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, alongside support for transport investment at the Port of Dublin and extending the Luas tram. As the first project in Ireland to be financed through the Project Bond Credit Enhancement scheme institutional investors will join the EIB to support this crucial road link.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Once open to traffic in 2018 the new road will cut journey times and provide a safer and shorter alternative to the current route through New Cross. The new road will allow traffic on the N25 between Cork and Waterford to bypass the town of New Ross and cross the Lower Barrow on a new 36m high, 900m long four-lane suspension bridge.
The EUR 22m Project Bond Credit Enhancement from the EIB will support EUR 146m of senior project bonds issued by the project company to finance the road scheme. The credit enhancement facility has improved the stand-alone credit quality of the project by around two notches, and has allowed the bonds to achieve the same rating as the Irish State (both rated Baa1 by Moody’s). The long-term bonds privately placed with institutional investors controlled by Allianz Global Investors GmbH.
Other infrastructure schemes supported by the Project Bond Credit Enhancement initiative since 2013 include offshore transmission links to offshore wind farms in the Irish sea and North sea, motorways in Belgium and Germany, as well as broadband networks and a port in France.
The new 14km dual carriageway road will be built and managed for Transport Infrastructure Ireland by a consortium led by BAM Iridium, and construction is expected to start in the coming weeks. The construction work is expected to support in the region of 300 jobs across Ireland and will be undertaken by a BAM Civil and Dragados joint venture.
Over the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided over EUR 3.5 billion for transport, education, energy, rural internet and flood protection investment in Ireland, as well as improving access to finance by small business.