Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) celebrated a milestone in the financing and delivery of WestConnex, reaching financial close on $1.7 billion in private sector debt for the project.
SMC Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cliche said a $1.7 billion AUD non-recourse senior debt facility has been established for WestConnex M4 Widening and M4 East.
“The facility is secured by the M4 Project and has been provided by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Agricole CIB Australia, ING, National Australia Bank, Natixis and Westpac Banking Corporation," he said.
“Almost a year ago to the day we secured $1.5 billion in private sector finance for the New M5 from major Australian and international lenders, so it’s great to see market confidence in the project remains high."The financing approach involves:
WestConnex is being delivered by an 'innovative' financing model which includes an initial contribution from the NSW and Australian governments, with private sector debt and tolling revenue providing the remaining funding for the project.
Government equity can be sold down to fund any future projects, effectively recycling the NSW Government’s investment.
“This funding is in addition to $1.8 billion from the NSW Government and a $1.5 billion grant and $2 billion concessional loan from the Australian Government to ensure work on WestConnex could start as soon as possible," Mr Cliche said.
“The first sections of this world class project will start opening to traffic next year including the King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade and the M4 Widening.
“The King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade will fix one of Sydney’s worst bottle necks and bring relief to over forty thousand motorists by slashing their travel times by up to half as they enter and exit the M5."Mr Cliche's hopes for the project is to help motorists stuck in gridlock on the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush experience more reliable journeys, with the opening of two new lanes and better connections to the surrounding road network by the middle of next year.
“The M4 East is also progressing at pace with more than half a kilometre of tunnel already excavated and tunnelling on the New M5 now underway," he said.