$2.67b Padma Rail Link Project loan deal on April 28

FE Report | Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The much-awaited loan agreement for Padma Rail Link Project will be inked in Beijing on April 28, paving the way for receiving the Chinese government's highest ever loan facility for establishing rail link with Padma bridge.
Sources said, the date and place of signing US $ 2.67 billion loan agreement were finally confirmed after getting response from EXIM Bank, a Chinese state-owned bank Tuesday.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) sent an email to the Chinese state-owned bank on Monday soon after the Prime Minister signed the draft agreement.
Under the loan arrangement, the Chinese government will provide 80 per cent of the project's construction cost to be implemented by Bangladesh Railway under preferential buyer's credit line.
Source said ERD and the EXIM Bank will sign the agreement.
The BR signed the commercial contract with China Railway First Group Co. Ltd in August, 2016 to construct 225 kilometer rail link on both sides of the Padma Bridge under the government-to-government arrangement. The contract amount is $ 3.13 billion.
Disbursement of the loan under G-2-G was delayed due to procedural complication including inability to include the project during the Chinese President's visit to Bangladesh in October, 2016.
Terms and conditions of preferential buyer's credit are also similar to non-concessional loan.
The Tk 350-billion Padma bridge rail link project will establish rail-based connectivity with nine southern districts including Mongla port and Benapole land port through the country's longest 6.15-kilometre under-construction bridge.
According to the commercial contract, 225km rail routes on both sides of Padma Bridge will be constructed by June 2022.
The route will be established in four sections -- Dhaka-Gendaria, Gendaria-Mawa, Mawa-Bhanga junction via Padma Bridge and Bhanga-Jessore Bridge.
The third section, Mawa-Bhanga junction-Bhanga via Padma Bridge, has been planned to be completed by 2018 to run trains over the country's longest bridge on the inaugural day.

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