Financial close for East - West Link PPP project

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Financial close for East - West Link PPP project

The Government of Victoria (Australia) and the East West Connect consortium have reached financial close to develop the East West Link PPP project.

The consortium was selected as the preferred bidder on September 9th. The team is composed by: Capella CapitalLend Lease EngineeringAcciona Infrastructure AustraliaBouygues Travaux PublicsLend Lease ServicesLend Lease Infrastructure Investments, John Laing, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), and Bouygues Construction Australia.

Although John Laing and QIC were not initially in the winning consortium, they have joined the team at some point after the project award.

The East West Link project is a 18-kilometre cross city connection north of the Melbourne central business district. The full East West Link will improve the connectivity between Melbourne's established east and rapidly growing west, joining the Eastern Freeway at Hoddle Street with the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West. This first stage of the project involves a new freeway-standard road link, including twin 4.4km three-lane tunnels, connecting Melbourne's Eastern Freeway with the CityLink motorway.

The project includes finance, design, construct, operate and maintain East West Link. The project is a 30 year concession, involving a construction period of approximately five years and 25 years of operations.

The design and construction will be carried out by a joint venture composed by Lend Lease, Bouygues and Acciona, with Lend Lease Services as the long term operator of the project.

The project cost is estimated at A$6 billion (US$5.56 billion). The East West Link project will be delivered as an availability PPP with the state initially retaining tolling and traffic risk.

Equity in the project will be provided by East West Connect consortium members Capella Capital, Lend Lease, Bouygues, AccionaJohn Laing and QIC. The Commonwealth Government has contributed AU$1.5 billion to the eastern section of East West Link.

Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2014 with expected completion in 2019-20.

Treasurer Michael O'Brien stated:

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. It is a leading financial centre in Australia, as well as the Asia-Pacific region.

Clayton Utz, PwC  and GHD were the legal, financial and technical advisor to the client.

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