China-Peru team wins $95m Amazon waterway PPP

Developers from the two countries will expand river channels in Peru’s Amazon to allow greater transit ship passage.

A partnership between Chinese and Peruvian developers has signed a $95 million concession agreement to build and maintain river channels along waterways in the Amazon.

Chinese state-owned construction company Sinohydro and Peruvian company Casa Contratistas agreed to develop and finance the Hidrovia Amazonica (Amazon Waterway) public-private partnership. The consortium signed a 20-year concession agreement with Peru's Ministry of Transportation and Communication to expand river channels that will allow for greater transit ship passage.

Peru's river system accounts for more than 90 percent of the passengers and cargo transportation in the region, according to Proinversion, the country's private investment promotion agency, which is procuring the project. Proinversion launched a PPP tender in January to find a developer to build a navigation channel 56 metres wide over 2,700 kilometres.

Other bidders for the project included Belgian construction company Jan de Nul and the China Communications Construction Company.

The deal is the latest to see Asian capital backing Peruvian infrastructure projects. Last month, two Japanese banks, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corportion, said they would provide a $396 million loan to bring to financial close a metro expansion project in Lima, Peru.

Also last month, China Three Gorgres Corporation acquired the third-largest hydroelectric plant in Peru in a deal valued at around $1 billion.