Vinci signs € 7,8 billion rail concession

By Helen Wright17 June 2011

Vinci and French railway infrastructure manager Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) have signed a 50-year concession contract worth € 7,8 billion to design, construct, maintain and operate a high-speed rail link between Tours and Bordeaux in France.

The public-private partnership (PPP) contract, described by Vinci as the "world's biggest rail concession", includes € 6,2 billion of construction works for the South Europe Atlantic high-speed rail (SEA HSR).

The deal was sealed by Vinci's majority-owned concession company Lisea. Other investors in Lisea include CDC Infrastructure, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts (25,4%), Sojas, a dedicated investment company (22%), and investment funds managed and advised by AXA Private Equity (19,2%).

Viaducts and tunnels

The 302 km long HSR project will take six years to design and build and involves 38 km of connecting line to the conventional rail network. About 400 civil engineering structures will be built for the project, including 19 viaducts and seven tunnels.

"This signing follows both the French Prime Minister's confirmation that the government wanted to see this project move forward before the end of this month and RFF's board of directors meeting of 9 June 2011," Vinci said.

"SEA HSR is the biggest PPP contract ever signed in France's rail sector as well as one of the world's largest infrastructure projects launched over the last decade," the company added.

Lisea has delegated the design and civil engineering works included within the SEA HSR project to COSEA, a consortium of companies led by Vinci Construction which includes Eurovia and Vinci's Energies business line, as well as BEC, NGE, TSO, Ineo, Inexia, Arcadis and Egis Rail.

Mesa, owned by Vinci Concessions (70%) and Inexia (30%), will be in charge of operation and maintenance of the line.

Construction is scheduled to start in the first half of 2012

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