Astaldi, Hitachi and Webuild win €2.7bn Italian high-speed rail contract

A consortium made up of Italian contractors Webuild and Astaldi and Japanese engineer Hitachi has won a €2.7bn contract to build a 44km high-speed rail line between Verona and Padua in northern Italy.

The IRICAV 2 consortium was selected by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, a subsidiary of state firm Gruppo FS Italiane. Webuild holds a little over 45% of the venture, with Astaldi 37% and Hitachi around 18%.

The line will link 13 municipalities from Verona and Bivio Vicenza, quadrupling the existing railway and strengthening links to international European routes.

Work on the €874m first section will begin immediately; funding worth €1.6bn for the second section is due to be arranged within 12 months.

Pietro Salini, Webuild’s chief executive, said: "From south to north, Italy is starting up again, and it is doing it with infrastructure, bringing work to the regions. We are proud to be able to bring our expertise to this project in order to relaunch the country where we have our roots.

"Thanks to technical expertise and efficiency and constructive collaboration among institutions, clients and private business, we can finally take on the country’s infrastructure challenges that have existed and been on stand-by for too long."

The project is part of Progetto Italia, which aims to streamline and strengthen Italy’s infrastructure sector.

Webuild was formerly known as Salini Impregilo.

Image: Verona (Twice25/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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