BAM/Balfour Beatty power ahead on €530m Irish road

The consortium has beaten competition from another team led by Allied Irish Bank and Strabag to be named preferred bidder for the M17/M18 Gort to Tuam motorway public-private partnership.

A consortium including Dutch construction company BAM PPP and UK developer Balfour Beatty has been named preferred bidder for Ireland’s M17/M18 Gort to Tuam motorway public-private partnership (PPP), Ireland’s National Roads Authority announced yesterday.

The preferred bidder beat competition from a consortium including Allied Irish Bank, John Sisk & Sons, Lagan Construction, Roadbridge and Strabag with the official award expected in the coming weeks, the Irish authorities said.

The 57-kilometre PPP is part of Ireland’s Atlantic Corridor and is expected to reduce travel times along the country’s west coast. The European Investment Bank has already approved a €170 million loan for the project, which it says has a total cost of €530 million. Construction is expected to start early next year and should be concluded by 2014.

A total of seven consortia originally submitted expressions of interest for the road but only four ended up being shortlisted. In addition to the above-mentioned final bidders, a consortium comprising Cintra and SIAC Construction and a team including Global Via, Macquarie, P Elliott & Company and Wills Bros were also involved in the initial stages of bidding.

The Gort to Tuam motorway project was the first to be tendered as part of a €1 billion roads PPP scheme announced last year by Ireland’s National Roads Authority. The roads programme could include up to four additional road PPPs. A second motorway PPP, the N11 (Arklow/Rathnew) is already in procurement.