International awards for EKF-project in Tanzania
Awards like “TXF Sub-Saharan African ECA Backed Deal of the Year” and “Global Trade Review Deal of the Year” may not be as well known as the golden statues the international film community will be handing out this coming Sunday. But they are nevertheless the international finance world’s version of the golden Oscars, and they have been awarded to EKF for our work on an infrastructure project in Tanzania.
The winning project is a 541 kilometer electric railway across Tanzania, which in time will connect land locked countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to Tanzania and give access to the Indian Ocean through the harbor in Dar es-Salaam, expanding and improving trade and transport significantly.
The project is established in cooperation with six other export credit agencies, including the Swedish EKN, and with Standard Chartered as lead bank. EKF has financed a third of the 2,400 million dollar project.
”The two awards are a huge and welcome recognition of EKF’s financial strength and risk appetite when it comes to large and complicated deals. By fronting this deal, using our financial know-how and sharing the risk with our international network, we can support a more sustainable development in those parts of the world, where investors historically have had concerns about entering the market,” says Thomas Hovard, chief commercial officer, Corporates & Institutions at EKF.
But the financing wasn’t the biggest challenge of the project. A railroad that long, which winds through areas with rich biodiversity, protected nature and areas home to indigenous people, means that the ESG aspect of the project was a massive task. Nevertheless, our ESG team tackled it head on and with great success.
We managed to get the government to agree to implement the IFC Performance Standards, which is the international benchmark for risk management of environmental and social issues. Our efforts to handle the sustainability issues in the early stages of the project and ensure that we had active stakeholder management were made to reduce the risk of conflict and problems later on during the actual building and running of the railway.
”It’s an effort we are enormously proud of. And the fact that the project is financed by a big group of lenders, proves that investors do have appetite for well planned, well run projects, which live up to international standards for environmental and social issues, and which create actual economic value for the local communities,” says Søren Abildgaard, who is responsible for the African portfolio at EKF.
On top of the two deal specific awards, EKF has also won two TXF Export Finance Industry Choice Awards, namely ”Top rated ECA for sustainable project Appetite” and ”Top rated ECA for European Exporters”.