Port of Melbourne terminal raises $300m

Seven banks are backing the construction and development of the Webb Dock East terminal, a $412m project.

Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), a subsidiary of Filipino port operator International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), has secured a syndicated loan facility worth A$398 million ($300 million; €270 million) from seven international banks. 

The lending consortium, which comprises Citibank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of China, DBS Bank, Investec Bank and Cathay United Bank, have agreed to offer debt with tenors of seven, 10 and 16 years. Finnvera, the Finland-based export credit agency, also provided a guarantee for a portion of the facility. 

The new financing will support the on-going construction and development of VICT at Webb Dock East in the Port of Melbourne. Total investment for the project is estimated at A$550 million. 

The construction of the terminal, commenced in late 2014, will be completed in two phases. Phase One will be ready for commercial operations in the fourth quarter of this year, with Phase Two available in 2017. 

“We remain committed to working with all our partners – the Port of Melbourne, local community, our contractors, and now our lenders – to deliver to Melbourne a world-class and industry leading container terminal,” said Anders Dommestrup, VICT’s chief executive, in a statement.

“The VICT deal has pushed the project finance envelope in Australia on a number of aspects, and this has made the process quite challenging. Thanks to the collaborative effort put in together with our lending partners, we achieved a final debt structure that positions VICT for both short- and long-term financial strength,” added Manuel V. Pascua, ICTSI’s corporate finance director.

Manila-based ICTSI and Australian logistics consultancy Anglo Ports won the terminal's concession tender, held by Port of Melbourne in May 2014, for the design, building, financing, operation and maintenance of the project. In February 2015, ICTS acquired its partner's 10 percent stake in VICT for about A$7.5 million.