CABEI approves US$550.0 million for the rapid passenger train of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica


4.5 million Costa Ricans will benefit from the construction of the infrastructure works contemplated in the project.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 30, 2019.‐ Today, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) approved financing to the Republic of Costa Rica in the amount of up to US$550.0 million for the Project denominated, “Rapid Passenger Train of the Greater Metropolitan Area.”

The project involves the construction, equipment and startup of an Electric Rail Passenger System in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM). The main expected impacts include direct benefits for 4.5 million inhabitants of GAM (approximately 34% are women); hiring of 1,000 temporary employees for construction activities; generation of 461 fixed jobs for the project's operational stage, of which at least 22% will be held by women; generation of 189 direct temporary jobs, of which 20% will be occupied by women; reduction of carbon dioxide emission; alleviation of road congestion; and reduction of road accidents.

The President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Alvarado Quesada, stated that, “The Electric Passenger Train in the Greater Metropolitan Area is a transformative project that will change the lives of thousands of people in Costa Rica, providing benefits in terms of transportation times, reduction of costs to people and the country, improvements in health and air quality and a reduction in the country's carbon emissions in order to decarbonize the economy. In addition, the project is a milestone that lets us dream about other initiatives, such as a Central American Train. It is one of the best investments that the country can make and we are pleased that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration is a key part of this significant project.”

For his part, CABEI Executive President, Dr. Dante Mossi, commented that, "This project marks the beginning of environmentally-friendly railway projects in the region since it is being carried out in a country where most of the Electric power is renewable. Likewise, it will serve as a benchmark for the other similar regional projects.

The project's investment in infrastructure and equipment represents US$1.30 billion dollars and is expected to be executed under the Public Private Partnership modality with a state contribution of US$550.0 million, which will be provided by CABEI. The ordinary resources of CABEI for this type of financing are made under a 25-year term, including a 5-year grace period and an indicative annual interest rate of 4.95%. Due to the positive impacts of this operation, CABEI is making significant efforts with other sources of cooperation to maximize these conditions with the expectation of extending the term to up to 40 years and lowering the annual interest rate to 1.55%.