The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) board approved two loans for Argentina for US$1.4 billion meant to finance the construction of a new bridge that will connect neighboring provinces Chaco and Corrientes.
According to a communiqué by the IDB, the project will benefit almost 870,000 people who live in the area. The press release also said that 88,000 people will use the bridge daily, adding that 9.5 million people will benefit indirectly.
The press release states that infrastructure like the bridge is key for the economic development and integration of Northeastern Argentina (known as NEA) across the Paraná River. The General Manuel Belgrano Bridge connecting the cities of Resistencia and Corrientes is currently the only land connection of the NEA.
“[The Belgrano bridge] is severely limited by vehicle capacity, weight restrictions, and traffic,” the IDB press release said. “These factors have turned it into a bottleneck.”
The loan will also help with Argentina’s international reserve scarcity crisis. This week, consulting firm Ecolatina calculated the country’s reserves were negative US$11 billion, an all-time low, after the country made a scheduled payment to the International Monetary Fund.
The US$1.4 billion credit will be divided into two payments. The first one is a US$345 million First Individual Loan that will be used to finance the first construction phase, as well as for funding environmental actions. This credit line has a 25-year maturity, a grace period of five and a half years, an interest rate based on SOFR, and a local US$100 million counterpart.
The second part will be a US$700 million Credit Line for Investment Projects (CCLIP).