When the Panama Canal doubled its capacity in 2016, the port in nearby Kingston, Jamaica, took advantage of its position on Caribbean shipping routes. Despite a struggling economy on the island nation, the Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd. (KFTL) embarked on an investment program to expand capacity to 3.2 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year, from 2.8 million TEUs per year, within the first six years of its 30-year concession. 

KFTL’s parent company, the French shipping firm CMA CGM, secured long-term financing for the $452 million expansion through the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the private-sector division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). But not only the IIC got involved. The financing package also included development banks, fund managers and commercial lenders from Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The size of the project, tenor of the loan, the diversity of the lenders and the economic challenges in Jamaica make the Kingston Container Terminal the winner of the award for Best Port Financing.

The IIC arranged $265 million in 15-year financing, lending $94 million directly alongside a $111 million B loan from Cordiant, FMO, CIBC First Caribbean and CIFI. Proparco and DEG also lent $60 million.

The terminal expansion is the largest infrastructure project that the IIC has funded in Jamaica. The first phase, which involves deepening the port’s entry channel and reinforcing the quay to allow access for larger vessels, is expected to be completed by December 2018 and cost approximately $150 million. LF

SPONSOR: Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL)

LOCATION: Kingston, Jamaica

FINANCING TYPE & SIZE: $452 million A/B loan

BANKS: Cordiant, CIBC First Caribbean, CIFI, DEG, FMO, IDB, IIC, Proparco

LAW FIRMS: Norton Rose Fulbright, Mayer Brown, Myers Fletcher & Gordon, Hart Muirhead Fatta, Willkie Farr