Three consortia shortlisted to build the Melbourne Metro Tunnel
Aimed at strengthening Melbourne's infrastructure against a growing economy, the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project is fully underway. Three consortia have been shortlisted to construct the tunnel in a $6 billion Public Private Partnership deal.
The shortlisted bidders are:
- Continuum Victoria – comprising ACCIONA Infrastructure, Ferrovial Agroman, Honeywell, Downer EDI and Plenary Origination
- Cross Yarra Partnership – comprising Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital
- Moving Melbourne Together – comprising Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, Ghella, Salini Impregilo, Serco and Macquarie Capital
The PPP will build and fit-out the nine-kilometre Metro Tunnel and the five new underground stations at Arden, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.
Up to six tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are set to be used during construction, each up to 100 metres long and weighing more than 1,000 tonnes.
In preparation for this significant work, three shafts will be excavated in the CBD – at Franklin Street and A'Beckett Street near Melbourne Central station, and at City Square near Flinders Street Station.
The shafts will be up to 11 storeys deep and will enable the roadheaders to be lowered into the ground to begin excavating around two million cubic metres of soil and rock – enough to fill 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Shortlisted bidders for the PPP will be asked to submit a formal proposal by early next year, with a contract expected to be awarded by the end of 2017. Work on the Tunnel and Stations PPP will begin in 2018.
Source: Melbourne Metro Rail Authority
Read the August 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
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”.