Webuild, as part of the Spark consortium, has signed a contract that values its stake at AU$3.3bn (€2.1bn) in the North East Link PPP Primary Package in Melbourne, Australia, a AU$11.1bn project in which the Group will take part in its design and construction. Webuild will also own a 7.5% equity stake in the project company that will operate and maintain the infrastructure once it is completed. The Spark consortium is led by WeBuild, with partners GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships. Webuild will own a 7.5% equity stake in the project company that will operate and maintain the infrastructure once it is completed.
The North East Link is the largest private‐public partnership (PPP) for an infrastructure project in Australia, one with a strong element of sustainability that will provide an essential link in the city’s freeway network, reducing congestion and travel times for tens of thousands of motorists. It will take 15,000 trucks off local roads every day and reduce travel times by up to 35 minutes for commuters.
Spark, the design and construction joint‐venture, will design and build twin three‐lane tunnels approximately 6.5km long, among other related works. Once completed, the North East Link PPP will be the longest road tunnel in the state of Victoria.
The tunnelling work is part of the Primary Package that the Spark consortium was awarded by the North East Link Authority, which is overseeing the development of the entire project, fixing the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network between the M80 and the Eastern Freeway in the city’s northeast. The PPP will adopt an Incentivised Target Cost contracting structure that encourages transparency and collaboration between the client and the Spark design and construction joint venture.
“Australia is a strategic market for us in light of the possibilities that it offers in terms of sustainable mobility and renewable energy,” said Pietro Salini, Chief Executive of Webuild. “We are proud to be leaders of this joint‐venture of international companies that will build the NEL. The contract is a major achievement for the Group. It is the culmination of years of commitment that Webuild has made to a market where it aims to grow and consolidate its presence. It is also recognition of our people’s expertise in light of the experience acquired building some of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in the world.”