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$350 million AIIB funding for Bataan-Cavite bridge available by 2024

China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) $350-million counterpart loan to complete the $1-billion first tranche of financing for the construction of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project will be secured by the Philippine government in January next year.

The Bataan-Cavite Bridge, envisioned to be one of the world’s longest marine bridges, is estimated to cost $3.91 billion.

The amount is set to be bankrolled through a multi-tranche financing scheme under which $2.1 billion will be financed by the ADB while $1.14 billion will be co-financed by the AIIB.

The ADB and the Philippine government, on Friday, signed a $650-million loan agreement, covering the Manila-based multilateral lender share in the $1-billion first tranche financing of the project.

At the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, Department of Finance-International Finance Group Undersecretary Edita Tan said the AIIB’s $350-million co-financing loan was “expected to be signed late this month or early next year.”

Tan said the AIIB funding would be "made available close to January."

For the $650-million ADB loan, the DOF official said the interest rate would be at 6.24% per annum and payable in 28 years inclusive of a nine-year grace period.

As for the AIIB loan, which is being negotiated, Tan said the interest rate could be close to ADB’s while the payment period would also be 28 years inclusive of a nine-year grace period.

“We’ve chosen the same period which is 28 [years], including nine [years],” she said.

Meanwhile, the remaining $664.23 million of the entire estimated project cost of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge would be funded by the Philippine government.

The bridge project would reduce travel time between Bataan and Cavite to 45 minutes from five hours.

It would complete the transport loop around Manila Bay and better connect Metro Manila to Central Luzon and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the project’s implementing agency, will start construction of the bridge by 2024.

The project will be divided into seven contract packages with the construction to begin first in the two on-land packages.

Package 1 is the five-kilometer Bataan Land Approach and Package 2 is the 1.35-kilometer Cavite Land Approach.

Packages 3 and 4 are Marine Viaducts in the North and South with a total length of 20.65 kilometers.

Meanwhile, Packages 5 and 6 are the North Channel and South Channel Bridges with a length of 2.15 and 3.15 kilometers, respectively.

The 7th package involves project-wide ancillary works.

The 32.15-kilometer, four-lane inter-island bridge will connect Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles, Bataan, and Barangay Timalan Concepcion in Naic, Cavite.

The bridge will have two navigational bridges, the 400-meter North Channel Bridge and the 900-meter South Channel Bridge, that are expected to traverse Corregidor Island. About 80% of the structure will be over the sea. — DVM, GMA Integrated News