Leighton JV wins Sydney rail contract

By Sarah Ann McCay27 June 2013

A joint venture between Leighton Holdings subsidiaries Thiess (50%) and John Holland (25%), and tunnelling specialist Dragados (25%) has been selected by Australia's New South Wales Government to construct the tunnels and new underground stations for Sydney’s North West Rail Link.

The AU$ 1.5 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) contract will see the TJHD joint venture construct twin 15 km tunnels, which will run between Bella Vista and Epping. These will be the longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia. The Tunnel and Station Civil Works contract also includes civil works for five new stations and two service facilities.

Four custom-made Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be used to construct the 6 m diameter tunnels with the first unit set to be in the ground by the end of 2014.

Leighton Holdings' CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt said that the North West Rail Link project suited the Leighton Group's core construction and tunnelling competencies.

"The award of the project is a good example of how the Leighton Group is focusing its operating companies on their greatest strengths to deliver excellence and value for clients," Mr Tyrwhitt said.

Dragados International Division projects director, Alfonso Travesí said the Spanish company welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership with two leading Australian contractors.

“Dragados has delivered more than 1,200 km of tunnels across the globe and we are delighted to join Thiess and John Holland to construct such an important project for Australia,” Mr Travesí said.

TJHD is expected to place orders for the TBMs within the next few weeks, while work will start shortly to prepare the three major tunnelling sites at Bella Vista, Showground and Cherrybrook. The contract is scheduled for completion for first quarter 2017.

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