Bilfinger Berger team closes on Aussie prison

The Darwin Correctional Precinct is a $513m, 800-bed facility. Commonwealth Bank of Australia – also an equity holder – National Australia Bank, New Zealand Banking Group and WestLB are providing debt for the deal.

SeNTinel – a joint partnership between Bilfinger Berger Project Investments (BBPI) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – has reached financial close on a 30-year public-private partnership (PPP) to design, build, finance and maintain a prison in Australia.

The consortium was named preferred proponent in September and has recently obtained financing for the A$495 million (€369 million; $513 million) prison from CBA, National Australia Bank, New Zealand Banking Group and Germany-headquartered WestLB.

Freehills, a law firm based in Australia, advised SeNTinel on the prison project, which is expected to open in mid 2014. The law firm had already advised BBPI and CBA on another prison project in Australia – Ararat Prison – last year.

The prison, named the Darwin Correctional Precinct (DCP), in Darwin, Australia, was first conceived in 2008. Projected to be an 800-bed facility, DCP will also have a mental health and behavioural management service.

BBPI pointed out DCP is the third prison PPP the company has been awarded in Australia.

Paul Henderson, chief minister of the Northern Territory, has said his administration is committed to spending A$1.5 billion on infrastructure. Correctional service minister Gerry McCarthy said DCP represented a “new era” geared toward rehabilitation.

BBPI is a concession business operated under Mannheim, Germany-headquartered construction company Bilfinger Berger.