Vinci favourite for £800m London road PFI

The French developer is the preferred bidder to maintain several hundred kilometres of roads and pavement across the London Borough of Hounslow. Vinci is also in the final stages of a similar, £1.2bn PFI deal in the Isle of Wight.

A team including several subsidiaries of French infrastructure developer Vinci has been named preferred bidder for a 25-year road Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract by the London Borough of Hounslow Council, Vinci announced yesterday. PFI is the UK's standardised procurement process for public-private partnerships.

The £800 million (€954 million; $1.3 billion) contract is part of a multi-billion pound package of three sizeable road PFIs currently in procurement, and saw Vinci stave off competition from consortia including Skanska/John Laing and Balfour Beatty. 

Under the Hounslow contract, Vinci, if it clinches the deal, will be responsible for maintaining and refurbishing some 432 kilometres of roads and 763 kilometres of pavement. Vinci said it hopes to start works in January 2013. 

The French company explained the contract will involve initial works in the region of £100 million – “mainly financed by non-recourse bank debt” – followed by maintenance works across Hounslow's roads and pavements. In exchange for its maintenance services, Vinci will receive availability payments from the public authorities.

But Hounslow might not be the only road PFI Vinci walks away with. In late February, the Isle of Wight authorities said they had shortlisted two consortia – led by Vinci and French infrastructure firm Colas – to submit final offers for a £1.2 billion PFI contract to refurbish and maintain several hundred miles of highways across the small island, located off the south coast of England.

The winner of the Isle of Wight contract will be responsible for managing and maintaining more than 800 kilometres of highway, over 12,000 street lighting columns and in excess of 2,000 illuminated street signs.