By Our Reporter
Regional rail operator, Rift Valley Railways has completed the final drawdown of US$ 69.6 million of the US$164 million debt facility which it raised through leading global and East African financiers late in 2011 to fund its five-year turnaround programme.
The debt was part of the total $287 million capital financing package which was provided in the form of a series of loans comprising $40 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), $32 million from Germany’s KfW Bankengruppe and $22 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The debt package also includes $20 million from FMO (the Dutch development bank), $20 million from the ICF Debt Pool and $10 million from the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO).
From the private sector, Kenya’s Equity Bank provided a loan of $20 million.
“Alongside a strong management team the funding provided by these financial institutions has been key to turning around the fortunes of Rift Valley Railways,” said Qalaa Holdings managing director Karim Sadek.
“A portion of the proceeds from the drawdown will be used to sustain investments in GPS-based train operating technology, cargo-carrying capacity and infrastructure including rehabilitating 366 kms on the Nairobi-Kampala section of the line.
Total capex spending this year will exceed US$ 100 million, some of which will be used to add 1,400 wagons to the existing fleet.
RVR’s group CEO Darlan De David said, “The capital financing package was a mix of debt, equity and monies from internally generated profits. We have so far invested $120 million in revitalising the railway, surpassing the investment requirement threefold, only midway through the five-year investment period”.