April 25, 2022
The International Finance Corporation (IFC)—a member of the World Bank Group (WBG)—has agreed to support the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) in the development of three key brownfield road segments on the North Coast Corridor of the Caribbean country. The initiative aims to improve the mobility of people and goods as well as strengthen the Jamaican tourism and hospitality sector.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the International Monetary Fund and the WBG, IFC is poised to help the Jamaican government design and implement a public-private partnership (PPP) transaction to identify and select a private sector participant to undertake the project. Investors will be expected to finance, build, and operate three road segments of 60 km on the northern coast of the island —Seacastles to Greenwood (6.8 km), Greenwood to Discovery Bay (40.7 km), and Salem to Mammee Bay (12.3 km). The investment amount for the successful completion of the project is estimated to be in the range of $600 million to $800 million, depending on the final design.
Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service noted, “Jamaica’s North Coast Road infrastructure is facing capacity constraints and is inadequate to sustain anticipated future economic activity. As such, the GoJ is intent on pursuing an open, competitive, and transparent process to attract large investors who have the capital and ability to procure construction services from providers, who have the expertise to undertake this project, which will be the single largest infrastructure project in Jamaica’s history”.
Road traffic in Jamaica has steadily increased over the last decade given economic growth and a developing tourism sector along with demand for increased mobility. As a result, there is an urgent need to upgrade and expand roads on the North Coast Corridor from two to four lanes, add intersections, and create overpasses, among other critical investments. This will further help improve access to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, two major tourist attractions on the Corridor.
“Good roads not only help move people and cargo; they also pave the way for sustained social and economic development,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s Senior Vice President, Operations. “This project will help reduce travel time, give a boost to tourism, and open up new areas for development and economic growth. We are pleased to bring IFC’s extensive experience in public-private partnerships to support the construction of this important piece of infrastructure in Jamaica.”
Since 2004, IFC has advised and closed 164 PPP projects that will lead to an expected $41.6 billion in private financing being invested in developing countries and over 150 million people who will directly benefit through better access to services and infrastructure.
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