Four express interest in Canberra’s Capital Metro project

Macquarie, Aberdeen, Partners Group and Capella are among the firms that have teamed up with developers to bid for the $780m light rail PPP.

The government of Australia’s Capital Territory (ACT) state has received interest from four consortia looking to bid for the first phase of Canberra’s A$780 million (€536 million; $632 million) Capital Metro project.

Consisting of both developers and private investors – some of which are already involved in light rail projects in Sydney and the Gold Coast – the groups will now wait for the formal tender process to start in March 2015, when a shortlist will be drawn up.
The four consortia named by the ACT government are:

_Canberra Metro, formed of Pacific Partnerships, Mitsubishi, Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, John Holland, DB International, Leighton Contractors, CAF and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi;
_ACTIVATE, comprising Downer EDI Works, Plenary, Bombardier, Keolis, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aurecon, Cox Architecture, Itochu and Partners Group;
_Connecting Canberra, teaming up Capella Capital, TransDev Australasia, Alstom, Acciona and Coleman;
_and CANGO, made up of Macquarie Capital, Obrascon Huarte Lain, SMRT International, UGL Rail Services and Siemens.

“It is pleasing to see so many nationally and internationally respected companies are interested in becoming involved in this important project for the national capital. It is also expected that many companies from our local region will be associated with the four consortia,” said Simon Corbell, Minister for Capital Metro.

Construction of the 12-kilometre line linking Gungahlin to the Australian capital is expected to start in 2016, with services commencing by 2019.

Opposition transport spokesman Alistair Coe warned in December that a future Liberal government could seek to cancel the project, which he says is likely to be doomed by delays and costs overruns, should the party win state elections due in 2016.