Sotra Link AS, comprising Macquarie Capital (70%), South Korean civil engineering company SK ecoplant (20%), and Italian industrial group Webuild (10%) – today announced financial close on the €2bn (NOK19.8bn) Sotra Connection PPP Project. The 9.4km four-lane road link includes a 4.6km long twin-tube tunnel (12.5km of tunnel in total) and a four-lane bridge of about 900m, and is the largest road infrastructure contract in Norwegian history, and one of the largest contracts awarded in Europe in 20211.
Sotra Link was selected as the preferred bidder for the project by the Norwegian Public Roads Authority (NPRA) last year and will operate and maintain the link for 25 years after it opens to traffic in 2027. The design and construction of the project will be executed by the Spanish group FCC Construcción (35%), Webuild (35%), and SK ecoplant (30%) – and will be operated by Hungary’s Intertoll via their Norwegian subsidiary Intertoll Norge AS.
The public-private-partnership (PPP) contract to finance, design, build and operate the road link in Norway’s Vestland county, aims to improve travel between Bergen and Øygarden municipality. The new road system will have dedicated infrastructure for public transport, as well as pedestrian and bicycle paths. Three smaller bridges are also included in the project. It is the largest and most complex of the Norwegian Government’s planned road PPPs for its 2018-2029 National Transport Plan2.
Ingrid Dahl Hovland, Director General of the NPRA, said: “It was a great pleasure to sign and reaching financial close of the contract for The Sotra Connection today. Both contract value, contract form and complexity are exceptional. We are now looking forward to the construction work starting in full scale next year.”
Christopher M. Bjerke, Chief Executive Officer at Sotra Link AS, said: “Thanks to an exceptionally good collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, we have covered and resolved many of the classic challenges, even before signing the final contract, that emerge in large construction projects. It has also been very inspiring to work closely with so many talented people in the Sotra Link consortium. Going forward, we will perform detailed engineering and I look forward to the start of construction in the first quarter of 2023.”