Four bidders contend for 13km undersea road tunnel in Malta

A $300m public-private partnership project to build a 13km tunnel between Malta and the island of Gozo, says Infrastructure Malta, the agency running the project.

The winner will design, build and finance a sunken tunnel, and operate the three-lane road link that is expected to carry around 6,500 vehicles a day to and from the tourist destination, known for its beaches and scuba diving.

The contenders are:

  • WeBuild (formerly Salini Impregilo)
  • The CGYI Malta Gozo Consortium, led by China Communications Construction (CCCC)
  • Malta Gozo Fixed Link Limited, a consortium made up of Maltese investors
  • A team led by French investment company Egis with Turkish contractors Yapi Merkezi and Makyol with UK investor Equitix and Japanese trading company Itochu

The bidders responded to an advertisement from Infrastructure Malta in the EU’s Official Journal.

The agency commented on its website: "In this stage of the process, which was launched last January, the agency invited prospective bidders to provide information and documentation that demonstrates their experience in similar tunnel developments, that confirms their environmental and health and safety record and that attests they possess the technical and financial resources to successfully implement this project."

Of the bidders, Egis is a subsidiary of the French State’s investment arm, Caisse des Dépôts.

The Malta Gozo Fixed Link consortium is led by Luke Chetcuti, a Maltese hotel entrepreneur.

The team led by CCCC also includes a Dutch and a South Korean company, which Infrastructure Malta did not name.

CCCC has previous ties with Malta, having financed a feasibility study for a Malta-Gozo bridge in 2013

Malta’s Department of Contracts will now evaluate the bids to check that they meet its criteria. Those who do will move onto a competitive dialogue.

The project will be completely financed by the private partner, who will recover its costs through a toll system.

Image: Mgarr Harbour on the island of Gozo (Continentaleurope/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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