Vinci-led team wins Regina Bypass project

Saskatchewan has named a preferred bidder for the Regina Bypass, the first transportation project to be procured as a P3 in the Canadian province.

SaskLink Global Transportation Partners (SGTP), a consortium led by Vinci Concessions, has been selected to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new Regina Bypass project under a 30-year concession agreement.

In addition to being the first transportation project to be procured as a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) in Saskatchewan, it is also the largest transportation project in the province’s history, according to Nancy Heppner, minister of Highways and Infrastructure, the public partner of the P3.

Financial details have not yet been disclosed but are expected to be once contracts are signed. “Releasing this information sooner could harm the province’s negotiating position,” the government said in a statement. However, it did say that the Canadian government will be investing up to C$200 million (€142.7 million; $160.4 million) in the project through PPP Canada, the country’s authority on P3s, in recognition of the bypass’s significant contribution to public safety and economic growth in the province.

The project is part of Trans-Canada Highway 1 which, as its name implies, crosses the country and plays an important role in the movement of goods, according to a statement issued by Vinci.

The project consists of a highway corridor through the Regina region, which includes approximately 58 kilometres of four-lane highway, service roads, interchanges and intersections, according to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) the government of Saskatchewan issued in March 2014. The majority of the project – 40 kilometres – involves new construction.

The other members of the winning consortium are Parsons Enterprises (which holds a 25 percent stake), Connor Clark & Lunn GVest fund (25 percent) and Gracorp Capital (12.5 percent). Vinci Concessions is the largest shareholder in SGTP with a 37.5 percent stake.

Significant population growth in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, and neighbouring towns – as well as a willingness to promote economic development – were the main reasons the province’s government deemed the project necessary.

Saskatchewan hopes to finalise deal terms by late summer 2015, with construction expected to begin immediately after. Completion is slated for fall 2019.

“After more than a decade of planning and significant consultations with municipalities, stakeholders and the general public work will start in just a few short weeks, with the immediate priority being the long-awaited overpass at White City,” Heppner said.

Saskatchewan will enter into an Early Works Agreement with SGTP before the contract is finalised, according to the statement. Early works will include improvements to service roads to the southeast and east of the city and the overpass at White City.