Ontario shortlists three for 407 highway extension

Macquarie and Bilfinger Berger have partnered with Canadian developer AECON to pursue the project, which involves extending an existing toll road. A consortium including Borealis and Cintra has also submitted a bid.

Infrastructure Ontario has shortlisted three consortia that include Borealis, the infrastructure investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Macquarie, Bilfinger Berger, and Cintra to construct an extension to the existing Highway 407 near Toronto.

In addition to the eastward extension, the winning consortium will have to build a link to Highway 401. The new road construction will be tolled, and will be publicly owned. A spokesperson for Infrastructure Ontario said the provincial government will control toll rates and collect toll revenue.

The three consortia shortlisted for the project are:

• 407 GreenLink Partners, which includes Macquarie Group; Bilfinger Berger; Canadian developer AECON Group; Fengate Capital Management; and Kiewit
• 407 East Development Partners, which includes Borealis; Global Via Infraestructuras; and OHL Concesiones
• 407 East Development Group, which includes Cintra Infraestructuras, a subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial; Intoll; and Montreal-based construction firm SNC-Lavalin

Several members of the shortlisted consortia have been previously involved in the development and operation of the main 407 highway. Cintra owns 42.23 percent of the main highway project, even after selling a 10 percent stake in the road to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for €640 million last year.

SNC Lavalin, which owns 16.77 percent of the road, also made an attempt to acquire Cintra’s 10 percent stake.

CPPIB acquired Sydney-listed toll road operator Intoll for C$3.4 billion (€2.5 billion; $3.4 billion) last year. Through that acquisition, CPPIB collected Intoll’s 30 percent stake in the 407 highway project.

The first phase of construction for the extension should be complete in 2015, and the second phase should be complete in 2020, according to a statement. A spokesperson for Infrastructure Ontario said the government should select a preferred bidder by early 2012.