European Investment Bank lends Nicaragua US$136 million for construction of rapid transit bus line in Managua
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing USD 136 million to finance the construction of a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Managua to run alongside Avenida de Juan Pablo II, one of the capital’s main arteries. The new corridor – nearly 10 km long – will be used by high-capacity buses, improving transport services between east and west Managua, providing connections between the suburbs and the centre and helping to lighten traffic in one of the most congested parts of the city.
The loan agreement was signed today in Luxembourg by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and the Minister of Finance and Public Credit of the Republic of Nicaragua, Iván Acosta Montalván. Mr Acosta was accompanied in the signing ceremony by a delegation consisting of the Minister for Energy and Mines, Salvador Mansell, Nicaragua’s Ambassador to the European Union, Lautaro Sandino Montes, and the Director of Public Credit, Uriel Pérez Acuña.
The EIB-financed project will widen Avenida Juan Pablo II from two to three lanes in both directions. The new segregated third lane will be reserved for buses. It will have 17 stops and provide services for 80,000 users a day. The project includes the creation of a new bicycle lane, which will be built alongside the new corridor, and the improvement of pedestrian areas through the construction of new overpasses and traffic light crossings. But the BRT corridor project also comprises the necessary investment to upgrade the drainage system and the sewerage, electricity and communications networks throughout the area.
The set of schemes financed by the EIB loan are aimed at improving the safety and sustainability of Managua’s transport system while helping to combat climate change. The project forms part of the Action Plan for Managua designed by the Nicaraguan Government with a view to both increasing mobility within the capital and enhancing the city’s ability to cope with possible natural disasters.
The EIB loan signed today with the Republic of Nicaragua is covered by the EU guarantee agreement and is granted under the EU Latin America lending mandate for 2014-2020.
At today’s signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano stressed “the importance of this agreement for the development of new infrastructure bringing major social, economic and environmental benefits. One of the objectives of the EIB – the EU bank – in offering favourable financing terms is to foster sustainable economic growth in Latin America. Today’s loan represents a good example of our support for projects providing people with more rapid, safe and sustainable means of transport”.
This is the fifth EIB loan granted to this Central American country. Since the signing of the first in 2009, the EIB has provided Nicaragua with EUR 410 million worth of financing for investments improving power generation and distribution grids and drinking water supply facilities and fostering the use of renewable energies.
The EIB in Latin America
The European Union is Latin America’s main economic development partner and the EIB, as the EU bank, supports cooperation between the two regions by financing projects that help meet EU foreign policy objectives: economic development, improvement of social and environmental facilities, private sector development and climate action.
The EIB provides economic support for projects in Latin America by facilitating long-term investment on favourable terms and providing the technical assistance needed to ensure that these projects have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.
Since the EIB began operations in Latin America in 1993, it has provided financing for over 100 projects in 14 different countries in the region, with total investment of EUR 7 billion. In 2016, the EU bank made available EUR 519 million for implementing various projects in Brazil, Ecuador and Panama.