EIB Global Invests $50 Million in Climate-Resilient Bridges to Enhance Rural Connectivity in Papua New Guinea

EIB Global Invests $50 Million in Climate-Resilient Bridges to Enhance Rural Connectivity in Papua New Guinea

(IN BRIEF) EIB Global has invested $50 million to construct nine climate-resilient bridges across East Sepik and Madang provinces in Papua New Guinea, as part of the Bridge Replacement for Improved Rural Access project. This initiative, co-financed by the Asian Development Bank and the PNG Government, aims to enhance connectivity and safety for rural communities, benefiting approximately 400,000 residents by improving access to markets and essential services. The project marks a significant upgrade to Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure, addressing challenges posed by rugged terrain and climate change.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 18-Jun-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — In a significant infrastructure initiative aimed at enhancing rural connectivity and safety in Papua New Guinea, EIB Global has invested approximately $50 million to construct nine climate-resilient bridges across East Sepik and Madang provinces. This investment, part of the broader Bridge Replacement for Improved Rural Access project, received crucial backing through a €3 million technical assistance grant from the Cotonou Investment Facility. Co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Papua New Guinea, the project represents a combined effort to upgrade critical infrastructure along Sepik and Ramu Highways.

The completion of these nine bridges, three in East Sepik Province and six in Madang Province, marks a significant milestone in improving the livelihoods of approximately 400,000 residents by facilitating safer and more efficient access to markets and social services. The project was delivered within budget, meeting high construction standards, and forms part of EIB Global’s broader commitment to investing in Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure.

The initiative addresses the pressing need to improve road and bridge infrastructure in Papua New Guinea, particularly in remote areas facing challenging geographical conditions. The replacement of outdated bridges along key highways is expected to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the country’s transportation network, thereby improving safety, reliability, and accessibility for all road users.

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of EIB overseeing Pacific operations, emphasized the tangible benefits of the new bridges, highlighting their role in transforming hazardous river crossings into safe, reliable links that boost rural connectivity and economic opportunities.

David Ruma Wereh, Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Department of Works and Highways, lauded the project’s transformative impact on rural communities, noting its contribution to economic development through enhanced access and connectivity to vital services.

Andrew Oaeke, Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Department of Treasury, expressed gratitude for the support from ADB and EIB Global, underscoring the bridges’ positive impact on citizens’ lives and looking forward to continued collaboration on similar projects.

Jacques Fradin, Ambassador of the European Union to Papua New Guinea, highlighted the EU’s contribution to the ‘Connect PNG’ program and its focus on improving transport and connectivity as part of the EU’s Global Gateway Strategy.

Said Zaidansyah, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea, praised the project’s success in bolstering rural access to urban centers and emphasized its commitment to road safety and community consultation throughout the project’s implementation.

Together, these stakeholders have collaborated to significantly upgrade Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure, underscoring their joint commitment to fostering sustainable development and economic growth across the country.

Background information 

The Bridge Replacement for Improved Rural Access (BRIRAP) project aimed to upgrade critical infrastructure in Papua New Guinea by replacing 27 outdated and deteriorating single-lane bailey bridges along the National Highways with modern, double-lane permanent bridges, spanning 20-160m with a total length of 1.33 km. This project is a collaborative effort, jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with about $90 million, EIB Global with about $50 million, and the Government of Papua New Guinea with $10 million. The Department of Works and Highways (DoWH), the PNG Government’s infrastructure implementation agency, oversaw the project’s execution. The BRIRAP project was organised into four packages, with the first two packages covering the construction of 18 bridges under ADB’s financing, and the latter two focusing on the nine bridges, supported by EIB Global funding. By the end of 2023, all 27 bridges were successfully constructed and have since been operational, significantly enhancing the transportation network and access within the country.

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to operations outside the European Union, and a key partner of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy. We aim to support at least €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027, around one-third of the overall target of Global Gateway. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local communities, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.

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SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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