Mott MacDonald hired for Belgian road PPP

The engineering firm has been appointed technical adviser to the lenders on a €101m highway development in Gent. The firm will monitor construction and provide regular progress reports on the project, which it had already provided due diligence for ahead of financial close.

Mott MacDonald, the global management, engineering and development consultancy, has been appointed technical adviser to the lenders on a €101 million highway development in Gent, Belgium.

The public-private partnership (PPP) project is being funded by Via R4 Gent, a special purpose company backed by ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen – an investment firm owned by the Flemish regional government – and DG Infra+, the Benelux-focused infrastructure fund manager. Via R4 Gent is responsible for design, construction, financing and maintenance aspects.

The highway project, construction of which is due to complete by the end of 2014, involves building 4km of eastbound carriageway consisting of two lanes and an emergency lane, as well as a number of junction improvements, associated with the R4 ring road in the south of Gent and its connectivity with the E17 and E40 motorways.

Improvements associated with the project include: roundabouts; slip roads; new underpasses for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists; and four new bridges over canals to improve accessibility and assist future development of land in the southern parts of the city.

Mott MacDonald will monitor construction and provide regular progress reports to the lenders. In the run up to financial close, the firm had previously played a due diligence role. “As the project now enters the next phase we will use our experience to ensure that the project stays on programme and budget,” said Ido Croese, Mott MacDonald’s project director, in a statement.

Mott MacDonald had previously acted as technical advisor to the A12 motorway, A15 motorway and second Coentunnel in the Netherlands; and the Brabo 1 tram line, Liefkenshoek rail tunnel and Kempen North-South road link in Belgium.