€1bn to make French roads 'greener'

Two French concessionaires, Abertis-owned Sanef and Vinci, have signed an agreement with the French government to spend €1bn making their roads network more environment-friendly. In exchange, the government will extend their concessions for an extra year.

Sanef and Vinci – the concessionaires that operate the majority of France’s roads network – have agreed to spend €1 billion over the next three years to make their networks “greener”.

Under the agreement, Sanef, which operates 1,747 kilometres of road across France, and Vinci, which runs 4,200 kilometres of roads, will spend €250 million and €750 million respectively over the next three years to make their concessions network more environment-friendly.

The programme includes investments for free-flow tolling, the preservation of hydro resources, noise protection on toll roads, biodiversity maintenance and development, the reduction of CO2 emissions and improved adaptation of services and rest areas, Abertis said in a statement. In exchange, the government will prolong the life of both companies’ respective concessions for one extra year.

Toll road operator APRR, owned by Eiffage and Macquarie, also operates over 2,000 kilometres in France but has not yet signed the agreement.

To find out more about what governments are doing to stimulate private sector investment in green infrastructure, read our in-depth feature on green infrastructure in the February issue of Infrastructure Investor magazine.