VINCI signs St. Petersburg's Orlovsky tunnel concession

The government of St. Petersburg and VINCI have signed a concession agreement to design, build and operate the Orlovsky tunnel, estimated at 44.7bn roubles. The two sides are expected to reach financial close by May 2011.

The Russian city of St. Petersburg has signed a concession agreement with Neva Concession Company to design, build and operate the Orlovsky tunnel under the Neva River, an official from the Russian side told Infrastructureinvestor.com.

The agreement was signed at an international forum in St. Petersburg on June 19 between St. Petersburg and Neva Concession Company, part of French infrastructure group VINCI, she added.

The project is estimated to be worth 44.7 billion roubles (€1.2 billion; $1.5 billion) and will be implemented on the basis of a partnership between the state and private companies.

However the financing for the project is still being discussed with financial close expected by May 2011.

The project consists of building an underway motorway crossing of two parallel line tunnels to link two embankments in St. Petersburg downtown city.  It will add one more hour to the bridge raising time and will reduce the workload on the existing transport routes. The 2.2-kilometre tunnel should be ready by 2015.