Linklaters advises the lenders on the financial close of the first major PPP project in Latvia, the Kekava Bypass Project

Linklaters has advised the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Luminor Bank as lenders on the financial close of the first major public-private partnership (PPP) in Latvia, the Kekava Bypass Project. The PPP contract was signed on 16 July 2021 between the Kekava ABT consortium (consisting of ACB, Binders et TIIC) and the Latvian Ministry of Transport. The contract entrusts the consortium with the design, construction, financing and maintenance of a 17.5-km road section in the South of Riga, bypassing the village of Kekava.

The new bypass will ensure the most efficient road connection between Riga and Lithuania, and will become part of the VIA Baltica (E67), a 1,722 km-long road connecting six countries, from Prague in the Czech Republic to Helsinki in Finland. It will facilitate the daily life for thousands of residents working in Riga by granting them easier access to the capital, and will greatly reduce the rate of traffic flowing through the village of Kekava, through which the existing road runs; the traffic volume has been strongly increasing in the region over the last 15 years.

The Project will be developed over a period of up to 23 years, including up to three years’ construction and a 20-year operation and maintenance period. Construction works are planned to start in Q4 2021 and should be completed by October 2023.

The Linklaters team advised the lenders notably on the negotiation of the partnership contract with the Latvian State and the construction and operation contracts with the consortium members, as well drafting and negotiating the finance documents. The team was comprised of Darko Adamovic, partner, Alex Bluett and Pauline Portos, managing associates, Youssef Berrada and Abdullah Konaté, associates, on project and financing aspects; of Melinda Perera, partner, and Alliance Mukengeshayi, managing associate, on Luxembourg law aspects; and Vincent Poilleux, counsel, on capital markets aspects.