Baar-Zug, Switzerland, 18 September 2014
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, is part of the winning consortium that today reached financial close on one of the largest public-private partnerships (PPPs) ever established in the Australian market. The Northwest Rapid Transit consortium has contracted with the New South Wales State Government to build, finance and operate its new rapid transit train network servicing Sydney's North West. Partners Group has worked closely with its consortium partners over the past 18 months to reach this outcome and will provide long-term equity financing to the North West Rail Link Project on behalf of its clients.
The North West Rail Link is Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project and will deliver a 36km rapid transit service connecting Chatswood on Sydney's North Shore to Sydney's north-western suburbs. It includes the building of 15km of twin tunnels, eight new railway stations and 4'000 commuter car-parking spaces as well as the upgrading and converting of an existing railway line. It is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be the first fully-automated rapid transit service in Australia, incorporating fully-automated trains and platform safety barriers. Under the terms of the availability-based PPP, the operating concession for the train service is 15 years.
Partners Group's consortium partners include Hong Kong's MTR Corporation, Australia's Leighton Contractors, John Holland, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group. The financing of the project also incorporates a significant capital contribution from the New South Wales State Government during the construction phase.
Benjamin Haan, Managing Director in the Private Infrastructure team at Partners Group, will take a seat on the project company's board of directors. He comments: “We are extremely pleased to be part of the international consortium of investors, constructors and operators that will partner with the New South Wales State Government on this ground-breaking transport infrastructure project. Australia, with its mature and transparent PPP framework, is a highly appealing jurisdiction for such long-term investments and the North West Rail Link project will secure our clients further exposure to this attractive market."