Loving roads and pipelines

Road projects accounted for the vast majority of the $18.4 billion of transportation deals done during the second quarter of 2010, according to InfrastructureInvestor Assets’ sector-focused league table for the second quarter of the year (see table XX).

The largest road deal was the UK’s Birmingham highway maintenance PFI ($3.8 billion), with other standouts including the LBJ Express I-635 highway project in the US ($2.7 billion) and the M10 Moscow-St Petersburg PPP in Russia ($2.3 billion). Together, road projects added up to $14.5 billion, or 79 percent, of the transportation deals that reached financial close during the second quarter of the year.

Energy was the second-most-active sector in infrastructure during this time period with $17.7 billion of deals closed. Energy also has its favourite sub-sector, with two gas pipeline deals representing 58 percent of the total amount of energy deals closed.

One of the deals was the first phase of the $7.3 billion Nord Stream gas pipeline, a natural gas offshore twin-pipeline which will run from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany and carry 55 billion cubic metres of gas a year when it becomes operational (scheduled for late 2011).

The second was the US’ $3 billion Ruby Pipeline, a 670-mile long natural gas pipeline supplying gas from the Rocky Mountains to western US markets, which reached financial close in May. Together, energy and transportation account for over 60 percent of the total amount of deals closed in the second quarter of this year.

Leading the way in arranging many of these deals were three French banks – BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole (formerly Calyon) and Societe Generale (see table XX). They were followed by two heavyweight Spanish banks, BBVA and Santander, in making up the top five spots in InfrastrucureInvestor Assets’ mandated lead arranger (MLA) league table.

In regional terms, close to 60 percent of all infrastructure deals closed during the second quarter took place in Europe with 20 percent in North America.

Five European countries figure among the top ten countries by deal flow.  Former cold war rivals Russia and the US went head to head for the top two places in the table with Russia edging past the US to take the number one spot. Together, both countries accounted for more than 35 percent of all deals done in the second quarter.