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IFC Financing Helps Upgrade Sangster International Airport, Supporting Jamaica’s Tourism Industry


In Washington, DC:
Vanessa Bauza, IFC
Phone: +1 202-458-1603
E-mail: Vbauza@ifc.org

Kingston, Jamaica, July 2, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and First Caribbean International Bank have invested US$15 million to resurface Sangster International Airport’s single runway and support other safety upgrades, such as the construction of a new fire hall. Work on the 2.6-kilometer runway is underway and will allow for smoother and safer landings in Montego Bay, which receives twice as many passengers as Kingston. Once the project has been completed, Sangster International Airport will have extended the life of its runway by 15-20 years.

Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is the largest of Jamaica’s three international airports and sees approximately 3.4 million passengers each year. It is the gateway to Jamaica’s seaside resorts on the north and west coasts and is vital to the tourism industry, which plays a key role in the national economy.

Sangster International Airport is operated by MBJ Airports Limited under a 30-year concession granted by the Government of Jamaica. IFC has made four investments in the airport since 2003 for a total of US$105 million, including US$53.5 million mobilized from other investors. Previous IFC loans have supported the construction of a new terminal in 2003, the refurbishment of the original terminal buildings in 2005, and the purchase of check-in related equipment in 2008.

“Having IFC as a strategic investor gives us access to their global expertise and network; it has helped us move forward quickly on this important project,” said Eduardo Canelas, Chief Executive Officer of MBJ Airports Limited. “The rehabilitation of this vital piece of infrastructure ensures continued operational safety and helps increase Jamaica’s competitiveness in the tourism sector.”

“This demonstrates the continued bankability of private infrastructure projects in Jamaica, which is particularly relevant considering efforts to privatize Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport and in the context of limited access to long-term financing in the current market,” said Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFC Senior Manager for Infrastructure in Latin American and the Caribbean. “IFC's aim is to support Jamaica’s growing private sector and provide investments that promote inclusive economic growth.”  

Currently, IFC’s committed portfolio in Jamaica’s private sector is $285.7 million, including $83.5 million in mobilizations. IFC is also implementing advisory programs to improve the business climate, facilitate public-private partnerships, build skills of local entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance and markets for small businesses.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, IFC’s investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About MBJ
MBJ is a private company incorporated in Jamaica in 2002 with its registered office at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, Jamaica. MBJ is a 74.5 percent subsidiary of Desarrollo de Concesiones Aeroportuarias S.A. (DCA), which holds stakes in a number of airports around the world. DCA is controlled by Abertis Infraestructuras, S.A., an international infrastructure group incorporated in Spain. The remaining 25.5 percent of MBJ’s shares are owned by Vantage Airport Group (formerly YVR Airport Services Ltd.), incorporated in Canada. Vantage is a leading airport operator majority-owned by Vancouver International Airport Authority which operates Vancouver International Airport, Canada’s second busiest airport.

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