An Astaldi-led joint venture has signed a €1 billion contract for the construction of a section of the Brenner Railway Tunnel, in Italy.

The contract comprises the underground works of the Italian section of the Brenner Railway Tunnel from Mezzaselva to the Italian border with Austria. The main works involve the completion of the exploration tunnel and two main line tunnels, stretching 69km.

Traditional digging methods will be used for 23km of the tunnel, while the other 46km will be dug using mechanised excavation with tunnel boring machines.

The joint venture will be led by Italian-based contractor Astaldi – with 42.5% ownership – while Ghella, Oberosler, Cogeis and P.A.C make up the other 57.5%.

Astaldi said the Brenner Tunnel had an overall cost of €8.8 billion, of which 40% was funded by the EU, with the remaining 60% funded by Italy and Austria.

The tunnel, which is expected to become operational in 2025, will represent the new railway link between Italy and Austria, forming part of the Helsinki-La Valletta Corridor 5.

It will be the longest underground railway tunnel in the world, according to Astaldi.

Filippo Stinellis, CEO of Astaldi, said, “We are proud to be able to contribute to one of the most important works under construction in Europe to date.

“The project is a great opportunity for us and for Italy for the employment levels it will guarantee during its construction, but also because it is a pioneering work of engineer that, once completed, will significantly enhance passenger and freight transport through the heart of Europe.”

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