INPP consortium poised for A$1bn Aussie rail project

International Public Partnerships Limited (INPP), the UK-listed infrastructure investor, is part of the GoldLinQ consortium that has been named preferred bidder for the Gold Coast Rapid Transport public-private partnership in Queensland, Australia.

The A$1 billion (€734 million; $1.1 billion) Gold Coast Rapid Transport project in Queensland, Australia has awarded the GoldLinQ consortium preferred bidder status. The grouping includes International Public Partnerships Limited (INPP), the London Stock Exchange-listed infrastructure investment firm.

In a statement, INPP said it would be investing a 26.6 percent equity stake when the project reaches financial close, which is expected to happen next month. The statement added that full financial details will be made available upon closing.  

The GoldLinQ consortium also includes: Plenary Group, the Australian investor and developer; Marubeni Group, the Japanese trading giant; Keolis, the French transport group; and Aveng Group, the South African developer.

On the banking side, senior debt is being provided by KfW (Germany), Banca Intesa (Italy), BBVA (Spain) and Export Development Canada.

The contract between GoldLinQ and the Queensland State Government relates to the provision of 13 kilometres of above-ground light rail between Gold Coast University Hospital and the Gold Coast resort of Broadbeach. The line will include 16 stations, a number of viaduct and bridge structures and the provision and operation of 14 rail vehicles. The project has been designed to accommodate peak daily usage of 75,000 passengers.

The project is expected to be constructed over a three-year period, with operations commencing in 2014. It features a 15-year concession ending in 2029; availability payments partly linked to the Australian Consumer Price Index (CPI); revenues contracted with the Queensland State Government; and construction and operations risk passed fully to McConnell Dowell and Bombardier (the design and build contractors) and Keolis and Downer EDI (the operations and maintenance contractors).

The investment will be the eighth made by INPP in the Australian public-private partnership (PPP) market. Listed in 2006, it has made 60 social and transport infrastructure project investments altogether in the UK, continental Europe, Australia and Canada.