The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two loans totalling €125 million ($165.51 million) with Lebanon, acting through the Council for Development and Reconstruction to finance the rehabilitation of highway and to support private sector investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
A loan worth €75 million ($99.30 million) will be used to finance the rehabilitation and widening of the A1 highway and a loan worth €50 million ($66.20 million) will support the financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency investments carried out by private companies in Lebanon.
The work on Lebanese Highways II involves the upgradation of 10.3km of an existing coastal motorway (the A1 connecting Beirut to Tripoli), between Nahr-El-Kaleb/Dbayeh (some 20km north of Beirut) and Tabarja.
The project also includes the upgradation of two major intersections in the adjoining neighbourhoods of Beirut the Kouarantina Westbound Exit Ramp (KWER) and the Ministry of Power and Water (MOP&W or El-Mawared) overpass. The project will reduce congestion problems in North Beirut and Beirut city as the project corridor is the main entrance from the north and Mount Lebanon to the capital.
The loan for renewable energy project will help reduce consumption of conventional generated electricity and heat. The project helps in reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and diversification of supply. AFD is expected to participate in the co-financing of the project.
The project is expected to receive a €4 million ($5.29 million) grant from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) managed by the European Commission for technical assistance of project implementation and capacity building. The EIB funds will be managed by the Lebanese Central Bank, Banque du Liban.