30-11-2012 — /europawire.eu/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 200 million to the Republic of Ecuador to finance Quito’s first metro line. EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and the Undersecretary for Public Finances at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Ecuador, William Vásconez, signed the loan agreement in Luxembourg today. An agreement on the project was also signed at the ceremony by the EIB, the Mayor of Quito, Augusto Barrera, and the CEO of state-owned Empresa Pública Municipal Metro de Quito, Edgar Jácome.
EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza, who is responsible for the Bank’s operations in Latin America, emphasised that the EIB was “delighted to contribute to the financing of Quito’s first metro line, which will provide a safe and efficient transport service for more than 400 000 people a day, while at the same time giving the city a fresh boost and fostering trade, tourism and general economic activity.” She went on to say that projects like the Quito metro were top priorities for the EIB “because they help us to meet our goal of promoting integrated and sustainable cities and communities that ultimately improve people’s quality of life.”
The Mayor of Quito, Augusto Barrera, stressed “the key importance of Quito’s first metro line to the city and the country’s development. The line will start to be built over the next few months and have a major impact on personal mobility, equitable urban development and environmental protection. In the history of Quito, there will be a before and after the metro. I wish to thank the EIB for the trust that it has shown in the city of Quito and the national bodies responsible for the project”.
Representing the Finance Ministry, William Vásconez underlined the fact that “this loan from the EIB testifies to the international community’s confidence in the government’s management ability and in the projects implemented jointly with sectoral organisations.”
This EUR 200 million loan will serve to finance the construction of the new 22.5 km-long line, 15 stations and a maintenance depot and the acquisition and assembly of the electromechanical rolling stock. The project forms part of the local and national plan to promote sustainable development and improve people’s quality of life. The new line will help to ease traffic congestion in Ecuador’s capital city and its suburbs, improve the efficiency of public transport and reduce fuel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. It is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2016 and will start operating in early 2017. The project will be cofinanced by other international financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Corporación Andina de Fomento.
The EIB is granting this loan under the current lending mandate for Latin America and Asia, which enables it to support investment in development of the local private sector, the creation of social and economic facilities and climate change mitigation. This is the Bank’s first operation with the Government of Ecuador and its second in the country (the first was a EUR 40 million loan to Telefónica Ecuador in 2006).
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