Details emerge for North West Rail link FC

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Details emerge for North West Rail link FC

The Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) consortium has reached financial close for the A$3.7 billion Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) package of the North West Rail Link project, which was procured via the PPP model.

The consortium NRT is formed by MTR Corporation (Australia), John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services, and Plenary Group. The project was awarded on 24 July 2014.

The project's total private capital is over A$1.8 billion, including senior debt of A$1.55 billion. NRT's debt will be drawn through a 7.5 year facility from three of Australia's major banks in ANZ, National Australia Bank, and Westpac as well as international banks Standard Chartered, BTMU, ING, HSBC, Mizuho and OCBC.

Equity financing will come from three of NRT's consortium members MTR Corporation (20%), Leighton Contractors (10%) and Plenary Group (10%) and will also include equity investments from Palisade Investment Partners (20%), Partners Group (20%) and Marubeni Corporation (20%).

Benjamin Haan, Managing Director in the Private Infrastructure team at Partners Group, commented:

We are extremely pleased to be part of the international consortium of investors, constructors and operators that will partner with the New South Wales State Government on this ground-breaking transport infrastructure project. Australia, with its mature and transparent PPP framework, is a highly appealing jurisdiction for such long-term investments and the North West Rail Link project will secure our clients further exposure to this attractive market.

The NRT consortium will provide rolling stock, design, build, finance, and then operate the North West Rail Link (NWRL) 36km rapid transit train service for a 15 year period. 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.

The project will serve a route between Rouse Hill and Chatswood, delivering world class public transport to the fast growing region of North West Sydney. The contract includes:

  • building the eight new railway stations,
  • delivering the commuter car parks for 4,000 cars,
  • supplying the new generation rapid transit single deck trains,
  • building and operating the stabling and maintenance facility at Tallawong Road,
  • installing tracks, signalling, mechanical and electrical systems,
  • converting the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link for the new rapid transit system,
  • operating the North West Rail Link - including all maintenance work.

The NWRL involves three main contracts:  Tunnels and Station Civils (TSC) package (procured via D&C contract), Surface and Viaduct Civils (SVC) package (procured via D&C contract), and Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) Package (procured via a PPP contract). The total investment for the project is estimated at AU$8.3 billion.

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