Three groups shortlisted for $1.4bn Melbourne roads PPP

Plenary, DIF and BBGI are among the firms pre-selected to upgrade the suburbian network of Australia’s second-largest city.

The government of Victoria has shortlisted three bidders for the delivery of the A$1.8 billion ($1.38 billion; €1.3 billion) western package of the Outer Suburban Arterial Roads PPP.   

One of the shortlisted consortia is Netflow, which comprises Australia’s Plenary Group, WBHO Infrastructure and Broadspectrum as well as Spanish developer Cintra and the UK’s Amey Consulting. 

Western Improvement Network, another contender, includes CPB Contractors and Pacific Partnerships, two CIMIC Group units, as well as local engineering firm Ventia, Dutch fund manager DIF and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corporation. 

The third team, Western Roads Partnerships, is formed by Aussie firms Lendlease, Capella Capital, WRP Finance and Cut & Fill. It also includes London-listed BBGI. 

The teams are competing for the A$1.8 billion contract to deliver eight planned road projects, which involves almost 30km of lane duplication and over 750 lane-km of road rehabilitation and maintenance over a 20-year period. Covering Melbourne’s outer western suburbs, the scheme aims to resolve congestion in the area by boosting capacity and improving pavement conditions. 

The winning bidder will be required to deliver the projects within five years after the contract is awarded, in late 2017. 

VicRoads, in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and Department of Treasury and Finance, launched the tender last November, the first PPP project to be procured under new requirements announced by the state government early in the same month to help give more certainty to PPP project development.   

In addition to the Outer Suburban Arterial Roads PPP, the federal and state governments agreed in November to each commit A$1.5 billion to the Victorian Infrastructure Package, a programme to fund over 40 key road and rail projects across the state. Following the package, the state government also proposed in December to build the A$10 billion North East Link, should the Labor party be re-elected to power in 2018.