Bouygues consortium wins $4.6bn Australian road contract

A team led by French contractor Bouygues has won a contract to finance, design and build the first phase of a $7bn toll road in the Australian city of Melbourne.

The East West Connect consortium signed a deal worth $4.6bn with the state government of Victoria. As well as the French firm, the group is composed of Acciona, Lend Lease and Capella Capital. They have undertaken to maintain the link for a 25-year period. 

The scheme is controversial in Victoria, and Daniel Andrews, the Labour opposition leader, has threatened to cancel the contract with only "some modest compensation" if he wins next month’s state election. Other reports in the Australian press have suggested that the consortium has been given guarantees of compensation if the deal is cancelled.  

The length of the project is 6.6km. It has twin 4.4km, three-lane tunnels. The construction phase is expected to create jobs for 3,700 people. 

Steve McCann, Lend Lease Group’s chief executive, said: "Lend Lease is pleased to be announced as the Victorian government’s partner to deliver this important infrastructure project. The East West Connect consortium will leverage its international and local expertise to deliver an outstanding outcome for the people of Victoria." 

The project remains subject to financial close, which is expected to occur this month.

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