The loan was issued to the VLT Carioca consortium which is implementing the public-private partnership (PPP) project and represents 42% of the network's total Reais 1.77bn cost. The Brazilian government's Growth Acceleration Programme (PAC) is also providing a Reais 532m grant for the project.
VLT Caricoa is led by Brazilian companies CCR Group and Invepar, and was awarded a contract to design, build, operate and maintain the network in April 2013. Consortium member RATP Dev will operate the system for 25 years.
The funding includes Reais 35.3m from BNDES' Climate Fund with the light rail line set to avoid emitting 410,000 tonnes of CO₂ over the course of the 25-year concession.
The first phase of the network from Santos Dumont airport to Rodoviária Novo Rio will open in time for the 2016 Olympic Games which Rio is hosting, while the second phase will open by the end of next year. The network, which will be completely catenary-free, will be served by a fleet of 32 44m-long bidirectional Alstom Citadis low-floor LRVs delivery of which is underway. The vehicles will accommodate up to 420 passengers and when completed, the network will have sufficient capacity to carry up to 300,000 passengers per day.