IDB loans $230m to Sharm El-Sheikh Airport

The Islamic lender’s commitment, which brings its total contribution to the Egyptian project to $457m, is part of an $814m financing package approved last week.

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved $230.2 million of funding for the second phase of the Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport Project, in Egypt.

The Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-headquartered lender has already invested $226.8 million in the project, meaning that its total contribution now reaches $457 million. The upgrade seeks to boost the capacity of the airport from 7.5 million passengers a year to 18 million.

The pledge is part of an $814.2 million development financing package approved by the bank last week, which will largely focus on infrastructure and human development.

Other projects covered by the plan include Benin’s Maria Gleta Power Plant (Phase I), to which IDB will contribute $152.5 million, and the Bibiyana Base-Load Combined Cycle Independent Power Plant Project in Bangladesh, which is to receive $60 million. The bank’s board members also approved $128 million of funding for the Greater Beirut Water Supply Augmentation Project in Lebanon.

The road sector meanwhile will receive $118.5 million, comprising $80 million for upgrading the Kantchari-Diapaga-Benin Border Road in Burkina Faso as well as $38.5 million for the construction of the Sanam-Tebaram Road in Niger. Another $15 million was allocated to the Rural Access Road Improvement Project in the Sylhet Division in Bangladesh.

The news comes a few months after IDB reached a $750 million first close on its second infrastructure equity fund. IDB Fund II, a successor to the $730 million IDB Infrastructure Fund I, is aiming to collect $2 billion.

Founding investors at first closing comprised the Public Pension Agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Ministry of Finance of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. The vehicle seeks to mobilise up to $24 billion of aggregate financing for a diversified range of infrastructure projects.

IDB was created in 1975 to “foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah, i.e. Islamic Law” according to the bank’s website.

IDB is 26.5 percent owned by Saudi Arabia, making it the largest shareholder, while Egypt owns 9.22 percent of the lender. Libya, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Pakistan, Algeria, and Indonesia also own shares in the institution.