The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have just announced that they've shortlisted three groups of companies to build the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway as Public Private Partnership.The consortia shortlisted to receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the financing, design, construction, management and maintenance of the PÅ«hoi to Warkworth project under a PPP are:
In September 2014, a Board of Inquiry confirmed approval of the Transport Agency's application for designation and resource consents for the project. This was followed, in May 2015, by the Cabinet approving an application by the Transport Agency to procure the motorway through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The Cabinet approval came after the Transport Agency determined, following an extensive business case analysis, that the project met the Treasury's criteria to be procured as a PPP.
Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said:
"We are very fortunate to have such high-quality companies and organisations showing an interest in the PÅ«hoi to Warkworth project. All of these companies and organisations have sound experience in delivering large infrastructure projects.
"I'm confident that any of these consortia can deliver a high-quality motorway which will provide greater resilience, improved road safety and journey time reliability, and a better connection for freight, tourism and motorists."
Mr Dangerfield says the RFP will be issued to the shortlisted consortia later this month and the Transport Agency expects to announce a Preferred Bidder by mid-2016.
Subject to successful contract negotiations with the Preferred Bidder, the PPP contract for the project is expected to be awarded in October 2016.
"A PPP contract will likely see the PPP consortium manage and maintain the motorway for the 25 years that will follow the anticipated six-year period to build it."
Tentatively, construction of the PÅ«hoi to Warkworth motorway, under a PPP arrangement, could possibly start in late 2016 with the road completed and open by 2022.
The Puhoi - Warkworth is a 18.5km stretch of new 4-lane highway. The project is part of the 38 km Ara TÅ«hono - PÅ«hoi to Wellsford road, which is divided into two sections: PÅ«hoi - Warkworth and Warkworth -Wellsford. The new motorway is one of seven Roads of National Significance (RoNs) identified by the government as key to unlocking New Zealand's potential for economic growth.
The total investment for the Ara TÅ«hono - PÅ«hoi to Wellsford road is estimated at about NZ$760 million (US$550 million). The project aims to extend the Northern Motorway (SH1) from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels just south of PÅ«hoi to a point north of Wellsford.
Mr Dangerfield says no decision has been made on tolling for the PÅ«hoi to Warkworth route but should the motorway be tolled, the Transport Agency would retain responsibility for tolling.
"The public would be fully consulted on any tolling proposal which must also obtain Ministerial approval," he said.
The first state highway in New Zealand to be delivered through a PPP is the Transmission Gully (MacKays to Linden) project in Wellington.
In July 2014, the Transport Agency signed a PPP contract with the Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP). Work on Transmission Gully began in September last year, and the motorway will be open for traffic by 2020.