The Zimborders Consortium says it has reached financial close for the $296-million upgrade and modernisation of Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge border post, the country's busiest inland port of entry and one of the region’s key transit points.
The public-private partnership with the Zimbabwean government will be privately funded.
Zimborders had secured a 17-and-a-half-year operating concession agreement, which will start when construction work has been completed in about 24 months' time.
“We are pleased to have received the support of a range of financial institutions on this critical infrastructure project for the entire region. Beitbridge is one of busiest border posts in Africa, which not only connects Zimbabwe and South Africa but also serves as the transit point for the majority of north−south trade in Southern Africa.
"We have the ideal team to ensure the successful construction and long-term management of the concession and are ready to start construction,” says Zimborders CEO Francois Diedrechsen.
The project will include an upgrade of the entire border post including roads, information and communications technology infrastructure, as well as the construction of a number of social projects to improve the town of Beitbridge’s critical infrastructure including a fire station, residential buildings, civil services and a new water reservoir.
The project’s debt funding has been provided by various South African commercial banks, as well as international development finance institutions, with equity also provided by several investors.