PHILIPSBURG–The agreements to finance the reconstruction of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) have been finalised and are set to be signed next week in Washington DC in the United States, confirmed Finance Minister Perry Geerlings at the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday morning.
These agreements are a grant from the World Bank to the Government of St. Maarten that government will pass on to PJIA in the form of a loan, a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the St. Maarten government, two on-lending agreements from the government to PJIA, a concession-undertaking agreement with the bondholders, and a security agreement with the airport which safeguards PJIA’s liquidity support during the estimated 18-month reconstruction period.
This liquidity support is so that the airport “does not have any problems meeting its financial obligations,” said Geerlings.
According to him, the total amount available for PJIA’s reconstruction set forth in these agreements is almost US $200 million.
After the agreements are signed, the procurement process can start. The airport will then take responsibility to guide reconstruction works, said Geerlings.
“I am very, very proud of what we have achieved. It took us almost 10 months because it was a very complicated matter … with the input of everybody – the NRPB [National Recovery Programme Bureau – Ed.] office, the World Bank, the Dutch government and our government – we were able to achieve this. I am really happy that we made it. I mentioned a couple of weeks, a couple of months ago, that this was going to happen and I am happy to announce that we delivered on it.”