Bechtel has entered into its first exporter agreement with U.K. Export Finance to secure a €430 million guaranteed loan for the construction of a 5G-ready motorway in Serbia. The UKEF-supported Buyer Credit Facility will help Bechtel in its joint venture with ENKA to create value worth €150 million to the U.K. economy, driving investment into local communities and supporting jobs. This is also the first export credit deal to be concluded by UKEF for Serbia’s Ministry of Finance.
The Morava Corridor (Infrastructure Corridor E-761) will be the second major transport artery in Serbia, connecting communities and businesses from Pojate in the east to Preljina in the west, and linking the country’s North-South motorway between the country’s borders with Hungary and North Macedonia.
The announcement was made during this week’s U.K. Government’s Global Investment Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.
“This welcome support from UK Export Finance will allow Bechtel, together with our partner ENKA, to deliver this transformational infrastructure project using goods and services exported from the U.K.,” said Brendan Bechtel, Bechtel Chairman and CEO. “At a time of post-COVID-19 recovery, this investment in the supply chain will benefit both the U.K. and Serbian economies, and will also enable Bechtel to continue to grow our partnerships in both countries.”
“This partnership between Bechtel and UKEF will boost UK exports, drive investment, support jobs and bolster local economies, helping us build back better from the pandemic,” said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, U.K. International Trade Secretary. “This week’s Global Investment Summit is attracting the world’s top investors to the U.K., showing why the U.K. is the best destination for foreign investment. There is no better time to invest in the U.K.”
Bechtel Enterprises, the project development and financing arm of Bechtel, supported the Republic of Serbia throughout the financing process together with JP Morgan Chase Bank as mandated lead arranger of the facility. Global law firm Ashurst advised JP Morgan and U.K. Export Finance on the financing.
“This transaction is exemplary of the creative outcomes that can be achieved for our customers when export credit agencies, development finance institutions, international banks, and the supply chain work together,” said Keith Hennessey, President, Bechtel Enterprises. “We are proud to partner with the Government of Serbia and UKEF in this transformational project and we look forward to bringing energy and creativity to deliver this world-class motorway in this strategically important part of Europe. We thank the Government of Serbia for their active engagement throughout the financing process.”
A major flood defense system is included in the motorway design to protect surrounding areas from flooding, erosion, and subsequent water pollution. This is the first flood mitigation system of this scale to be built alongside a motorway in the Balkans, reflecting the Serbian government’s commitment to strengthening the national infrastructure’s resilience against extreme weather conditions.