Jamaica Paves a Road with Public-Private Partnerships

Elected officials in the U.S. continue to debate the use of public-private partnerships to help finance and manage our transportation infrastructure. Developing nations and our competitors are likely breathing a sigh of relief because that means more private equity is available on the world market for them to tap into.

As we wring our hands over whether the equity is still there, Jamaica has entered into a $85 million concession with public and private equity partners for TransJamaica Highway Limited (TJH) to build a new tollroad.

“The financing package is currently expected to be by a consortium of IFC, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Proparco, and European Investment Bank (EIB), with whom IFC coordinated its appraisal,” said the IFC project document.

This phase of Highway 2000, which is the centrepiece of the multi-year Millennium Projects Programme initiated by the Government of Jamaica and which consists of a 35-year build operate transfer (BOT) concession in Jamaica for the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of a tolled motorway connecting the capital Kingston to Mandeville – a 78-km stretch of highway – is now projected to cost US$356 million.”

TJH is 66 percent owned by Bouygues Travaux Publics, a worldwide civil works company (which won the tender in 2001) and one-third owned by Autoroutes du Sud de la France, a major toll road concessionaire in France.