DIF has announced that the Tram’Ardent consortium, comprising DIF Infrastructure V (80%), French civil construction firm Colas (10%) and Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF, 10%), has reached financial close on the Liège Tram PPP in Belgium.
This availability-based public-private partnership contract with Opérateur du Transport de Wallonie, the regional public transport company, involves the design, building, financing and maintenance of a tram line in the centre of Liège between Sclessin, Coronmeuse and Bressoux Station. It includes circa 12 km of rail track (of which over 3 km catenary-less), 21 stations, 20 trams, a maintenance depot, 2 park-and-ride facilities and improvements to the surrounding urban area. Construction will start immediately, with completion expected in the second half of 2022. Thereafter the consortium will maintain the project for circa 27 years, until 2050.
Total funding for the project amounts to €429 million, including long-term debt secured from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Belfius, BBVA, Natixis, AG Insurance and Talanx. The EIB will fund half of the term loan, totalling €193 million, backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).