The NZ Transport Agency has entered its second contract for a public-private partnership (PPP) to deliver a state highway, this time for the 18.5km extension of the northern motorway out of Auckland between Puhoi & Warkworth. The first PPP was for Transmission Gully in Wellington.
The agency has awarded a contract to the Northern Express Group which will finance, build, manage & maintain the new motorway between Puhoi & Warkworth as a public private partnership at a net present cost of $709.5 million.
NZ Transport Agency chief executive Fergus Gammie said yesterday this section of motorway was a key transport link connecting Northland to the upper North Island freight triangle of Auckland, Waikato & Tauranga.
“The Puhoi-Warkworth motorway forms the first section of the Government’s Puhoi-Wellsford road of national significance, aimed at enabling economic growth by providing a safer & more reliable transport link for the region.
“The new motorway will extend the Northern Motorway (State Highway 1) from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels just south of Puhoi to a point north of Warkworth.”
Northern Express will finance, design, construct, manage & maintain the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected 5-year period to build it. Full ownership of the highway will remain with the public sector. Mr Gammie said the aim was to have it open for traffic by 2022.
The Northern Express Group is made up of firms with considerable experience in the design, construction, finance, maintenance and management of key infrastructure projects. The equity partners in the consortium are: the Accident Compensation Corp, Public Infrastructure Partners II LP (managed by Morrison & Co PIP Ltd), Acciona Concesiones SL and Fletcher Building Ltd.
Mr Gammie said the ‘net present’ contract price of $709.5 million was a ‘whole of life’ cost for Northern Express to build then operate the motorway. “Because the costs are spread over time, they are expressed in today’s dollars.”
Attribution: Agency release.