Leighton Group companies John Holland and Leighton Contractors, and their partners in the Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium (NRT), have been selected by the New South Wales Government as preferred operator to deliver the Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) package for the North West Rail Link (NWRL) in Sydney.
The NWRL is the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit, Sydney’s brand new railway network.
Working with the state government in an availability-based Public Private Partnership (PPP), NRT will procure rolling stock and design, build, finance, and then operate the NWRL’s 36km rapid transit train service for a 15 year period.
Leighton Holdings Chief Executive Officer, Marcelino Fernández Verdes said: “The Leighton Group is proud to be working with the NSW Government and our consortium partners to deliver Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project and to have a longer term involvement in its operation.
“Our companies are now contributing extensive local and international experience in rail construction, operation and maintenance on two of the three major contracts that will deliver the NWRL.”
The NRT consortium consists of Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation, John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group. Plenary Group is financial sponsor and capital arranger.
Under the PPP arrangement a four-way joint venture between MTR Corporation, John Holland, Leighton Contractors and UGL Rail Services will deliver the five year construction phase. MTR Corporation is the major Operator participant and John Holland and UGL Rail Services have minority stakes.
NRT will operate the first fully-automated rapid transit rail system in Australia.
John Holland Managing Director, Glenn Palin said: “The NRT construction team integrates civil, track, electrical and signalling specialists with a history of delivering and upgrading major rail infrastructure. Our end goal is to ensure construction, fit out and systems seamlessly meet operational needs so that commuters in the north west benefit from a safe, efficient rail service.”
Leighton Contractors Managing Director, Craig Laslett said: “NRT is committed to a successful partnership with the government to benefit the people of NSW. The NWRL will support the development of the north west by improving commuters’ access and connectivity to jobs growth areas and the CBD, providing more intermodal choices and offering superior levels of customer service.”
The OTS construction scope includes delivery of a stabling and maintenance depot at Cudgegong Road in Rouse Hill, eight new railway stations, associated car parking facilities and installation of signalling, mechanical and electrical systems. Track work includes construction of 23km of new rail network from Cudgegong Road to Epping and upgrades for the 13km of existing rail network between Epping and Chatswood.
Equity investors in the project are NRT partners MTR Corporation, Leighton Contractors and Plenary Group with additional investments from Palisade Investment Partners, Partners Group and Marubeni Corporation.
Private financing for the PPP has also been sourced from three of Australia’s major banks in ANZ, NAB and Westpac as well as international banks Standard Chartered, BTMU, ING, HSBC, Mizuho and OCBC.
NRT and the NSW government will work together to achieve financial close by the end of the year.
The North West Rail Link is scheduled to commence services by the end of 2019.
The OTS PPP is the second NWRL contract win for the Leighton Group. In June 2013, Thiess and John Holland in joint venture with Dragados (part of the ACS Group), were selected to deliver the NWRL’s twin 15km tunnels and civil works for five of the eight new stations and two service facilities under a $1.15 billion contract. The tunnelling contract commenced in June 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2017.