Five international consortiums to fight it out for $4.3bn Brisbane megaproject

Of the 89 teams that registered an interest in tackling Brisbane’s US$4.3bn Cross River Rail scheme last September, five have made the Delivery Authority’s shortlist.

The scheme, the largest in the state of Queensland for a decade, will extend the city’s underground rail system by adding 10.2km of line, digging a 5.9km double-bore tunnel under the Brisbane river and the city’s central business district and adding five stations to the network.

Ms. Jackie Trad, the acting premier of Queensland, commented in a press statement: "It is the Queensland Government that has fully funded this project and we are hitting exciting new milestones, on time, all the time.

"In August we held an industry briefing and announced to over 500 industry representatives that we were fully-committed to the project, calling for partners to work with us to deliver it. Today, we are proudly announcing the shortlisted consortiums, with a strong field of national and multinational companies – yet another project milestone delivered on time."

The route of the Cross River scheme (Cross River Rail)

The contract is split into two parts, one for the tunnels and stations and another for the rail systems.

The three in contention for construction elements are:

  • Pulse, which is made up of Pacific Partnerships, UGL Engineering and CPB Contractors, all subsidiaries of the Cimic construction group, which is ultimately owned by Spain’s ACS.  It also includes Italian tunnel specialist Ghella, Israeli civil engineer DIF, and Dutch contractor BAM.
  • Qonnect, which includes the Queensland Investment Corporation, Capella Capital, Australian developer Lendlease, Chinese-owned contractor John Holland and French civil engineers Bouygues.
  • CentriQ Partnerships, which includes Spanish civil engineer Acciona, Australian infrastructure investor Plenary Group, Korean contractor GS Engineering, Italy’s Salini Impregilo and the Australian facilities manager Spotless Group.

Two groups are in contention for the rail system package. These are:

  • The River City Alliance, which is comprised of Australian multidisciplinary firm GHD, and local subsidiaries of UK contractor Laing O’Rourke, South African/Australian engineer Aurecon and French project managers Systra.
  • Unity Alliance, which includes CPB Contractors and UGL Engineering, as well as the Australian arms of two US engineers: Jacobs Group and Aecom.

The contenders were named yesterday by, and Graeme Newton, the chief executive of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.

Mr Newton said the preferred rail and rail signal alliance would be named in late 2018 and the preferred tunnel and stations contractor would be named in early 2019. The work is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year be completed in 2024.

Top image: An artist’s impression of the future Woolloongabba rail station (Cross Rail)

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