Contractual close for Leighton Group in $3.7bn Sydney NWRL PPP
Leighton Group companies John Holland and Leighton Contractors, as part of the Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) Consortium, have reached contractual close on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the New South Wales Government to deliver the $3.7 billion Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) package for the North West Rail Link (NWRL) in Sydney.
The NRT consortium consists of John Holland, Leighton Contractors, MTR Corporation, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group.
Leighton Holdings Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marcelino Fernández Verdes said: “The Federal Government’s objective is to catalyse $125 billion in new infrastructure spending by the end of the decade, and a large part of this is expected to be delivered through PPPs which presents a significant opportunity for Leighton. By bundling together the funding, construction and management of new projects we will be able to leverage greater results for our clients and shareholders. NWRL is an example of this.”
The NRT consortium will procure rolling stock and design, build, finance, and then operate the NWRL’s 36km rapid transit train service for a 15 year period. The net present value to the Leighton Group is $2 billion.
Under the PPP arrangement a four-way joint venture between MTR Corporation, John Holland, Leighton Contractors and UGL Rail Services will deliver the five year construction phase.
John Holland Managing Director, Glenn Palin said: “NRT is committed to a successful partnership with the NSW Government. To that end, we will ensure construction, fit out and systems seamlessly meet operational needs so that commuters in the North West benefit from a safe, efficient rail service.”
Leighton Contractors Managing Director David Jurd said: “The NWRL will improve travel times, accessibility and amenity for commuters, paving the way for sustainable growth in Sydney’s North West and delivering wider benefits to the State’s economy.”
The NWRL is the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit, Sydney’s new railway network and is scheduled to commence services in the first half of 2019.
The OTS PPP is the second NWRL contract win for the Leighton Group. In June 2013, Thiess and John Holland in joint venture with Dragados, were selected to deliver part of the NWRL’s tunnels and civil works under a $1.15 billion contract. The tunnelling contract commenced in June 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2017.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.