EIB approves €500m loan for Dublin metro PPP

The overground and underground rail public-private partnership (PPP) is scheduled to be operational in 2016. The EIB’s proposed loan would account for 8% of the total financing for the €6bn project.

Ireland’s Dublin metro project has been given a boost with the news that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €500 million loan. Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB vice president with responsibility for Ireland, told the Irish Times the project was “the backbone for a future integrated public transport network in the Irish capital”.

The Dublin metro is a proposed rail system for the city of Dublin. The first two lines were set out in the Irish government’s 2005 Transport 21 transport plan and are known as Metro North and Metro West.

The former is an 18km-long overground and underground section which includes a deep bore tunnel which connects part of the city with its airport. The latter is a 25.5km stretch, which is entirely above ground and connects various parts of the city. As a whole, the project involves the construction of 17 new stations and 21 trains to service the line. 

In June 2009, Ireland’s Railway Procurement Authority shortlisted two consortia under the procurement process for the PPP, which has a provisional completion date of 2016.

One is Celtic Express, headed by Japan’s Mitsui Group and including Barclays Private Equity, Hong Kong rail operator MTR, Spanish rolling stock provider CAF and Portuguese civil engineering group Soares da Costa.

The second is Metro Express, comprising Irish bank AIB, Macquarie, Canadian transport company Bombadier, Spanish construction firm FCC and Portuguese engineering group Global Via.