The Victorian government announced the consortia were in the running for the major works package of the availability PPP, which it said will be worth between A$7 billion ($4.7 billion; €4.3 billion) and A$9 billion. The finalists are:
- OneLink – comprising CPB Contractors, Samsung C&T Corporation, Egis Road Operations, UGL Engineering, Pacific Partnerships and DIF Management Australia;
- Spark – comprising Salini Impregilo, GS Engineering and Construction, China Construction Oceania, Broadspectrum Australia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments and advisors Lendlease Engineering;
- ViaNova – comprising John Holland Group, Acciona Construction, Lendlease Services, Plenary Group, and Acciona Concesiones.
The overall North East Link project is billed as Victoria’s largest ever road project at A$15.8 billion in size.
The scheme will connect the M80 motorway with the Eastern Freeway and includes upgrades to the latter, the construction of Melbourne’s “first dedicated high-speed busway”, installation of more than 25km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths, and improvements to community facilities including local sports grounds.
The successful PPP bidder will design and build twin 6km road tunnels underneath the Yarra River, and design new interchanges, freeway upgrades and shared-use paths. It will also be responsible for operating the entire road corridor from the Eastern Freeway to Hoddle Street and the M80 once built.
The government will retain toll revenues under the deal, at least initially, with payments made to the consortium on an availability basis. The concession is set to last for 25 years.
The Victorian government said the PPP contract will be awarded in 2020, with major construction to begin in 2021. Early works construction will begin in 2020 following planning approvals.
Victoria’s minister for public transport Jacinta Allen said: “The world’s best construction companies have been shortlisted to help build Victoria’s largest ever road project, the North East Link.
“The congestion-busting North East Link will take 15,000 trucks off local roads, slash travel times for up to 135,000 motorists and create 10,000 jobs.”