News: Silta Finance partners with BESIX, entering the MENA region
Silta aims to reinvent project finance by connecting infrastructure developers with DeFi lending. The project has signed a partnership with BESIX, one of the largest construction contractors in the Middle East.
In the MENA region, annual investment of at least $100 billion is required over the next 5 to 10 years to maintain existing and build new infrastructure. The advisory and due diligence processes involved currently make project finance a costly and time consuming affair that is for many smaller scale projects valued up to $100M simply not feasible. Silta Finance is positioned to disrupt the space by enabling infrastructure projects to access DeFi as a new form of financing. Silta does this by providing the credit assessment and collateral that project companies need in order to seek cryptocurrency loans.
BESIX is looking to be one of the first to tap into DeFi through Silta. The company has a track record of being a frontrunner in the region. Examples of their projects include a sewage system concession in the emirate of Ajman — the first wastewater PPP (public-private partnership) in the region; a waste management facility which provides ‘fuel’ to cement factories as alternative to the use of coal or gas; and most recently, the biggest waste-to-energy plant in the world built in a single phase.
For BESIX, Silta is a logical match to collaborate in this area thanks to the experience of the founding team. Silta founders have a strong background in project finance, having worked globally on over 50 project finance transactions worth more than 44 billion US$ in road, rail, power, ports, energy and utilities.
Tom Neyrinck, Group Head Structured Finance and M&A for BESIX says: “Project finance is here to stay, but it has to adapt to emerging trends in contract structuring and technologies. We will be tapping into new pockets of funding that can offer leaner finance. For the DeFi space, project finance can offer stable returns backed with physical assets. The value that Silta can bring in this space comes from simplifying the financing process for smaller projects. BESIX has the applied knowledge and ability to test the Silta framework, and Silta has the technical knowledge to put the framework into practice. The Silta team has the technical capability to solve these challenges as well as the needed expertise as a result of their PPP background,” he sums.
Silta CEO and co-founder Ben Sheppard says: “BESIX is an organisation that wants to be at the cutting edge. They are willing to try things differently and do things differently. By disrupting how lending is done to these projects, we want to enable more of the kind of projects we want to see in the world. We want to work with organisations that share our interest in ESG and sustainable development.”
In this partnership, BESIX will use their knowledge of project finance and their portfolio of projects to review the Silta framework. As an instance of decentralized governance, the Silta DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation) decides on which projects are eligible for funding through Silta. The aim is to collateralize the first DeFi loan for a project company in mid-2022.
About Silta Finance
Silta is the DeFi bridge to a sustainable future. Silta provides on-chain collateral which enables real-world infrastructure developers to access liquidity in DeFi. This is how Silta introduces a new class of products to the DeFi industry. Like bonds, these investments are likely to offer steady interest rates upwards of 4%. Silta aims to help bring balance to crypto traders’ portfolios with new products largely immune to crypto winters.
About BESIX Group
BESIX is a leading Belgian group, based in Brussels and operating in 25 countries and on 5 continents, in the construction, real estate development and concessions sectors. Active since 1909, its iconic achievements include Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, buildings of the European Parliament in Brussels as well as the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza pyramids plateau. The group’s engineering department enables BESIX to carry out complex and unique projects, particularly in terms of technical and environmental aspects. As such, BESIX designs and builds state-of-the-art environmental facilities, particularly in the fields of drinking water, wastewater treatment and waste-to-resource. The group also offers its clients solutions for the financing, management and maintenance of these infrastructures. BESIX has been active in the UAE since 1965 and has grown to become one of the largest construction contractors in the Middle East.
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