Two PFI International Awards for RPS AAP Infrastructure Projects

10 Feb 2017

Melbourne HCMT and Canberra LRS projects recognised at recent PFI Awards.


Staff from RPS’ Melbourne and Sydney offices alongside project-partners recently accepted two global industry awards at the Project Finance International Awards hosted by Thomson Reuters at the Hilton Hotel in London, UK.

The Melbourne High Capacity Metro Trains PPP project won the 2016 PFI Rail Deal of the Year (Asia Pacific).

Victoria’s biggest ever rolling stock project is worth over AU$2bn and will deliver 65 new high capacity trains with around 20% greater capacity than the existing fleet. The project will also deliver two new dedicated train maintenance facilities and training simulators. It achieved contract close in November 2016 and is being delivered as an availability based PPP project. The first new train is due to enter service on Melbourne’s Cranbourne-Pakenham line in 2019, with the full fleet delivered by 2024. This will be followed by a 30-year maintenance period.

The Victorian state government appointed the Evolution Rail consortium to deliver the project. This consortium comprises the world’s largest train manufacture, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles along with Downer EDI and Plenary Group.

Over 500 local jobs are being created during the delivery phase, which has a minimum 60% local build requirement. Downer EDI’s existing manufacturing facility in Melbourne will also undergo a major upgrade, while Chinese state-owned CRRC will also establish a new regional headquarters in Melbourne to help realise the vision of this project and assist in sustaining a viable rolling stock manufacturing capability in Victoria.

RPS was the commercial and transaction advisor on this project, responsible for the strategic management and coordination of all aspects of the tendering process on behalf of the State. RPS is also retained to provide strategic support to the project during the delivery phase.

Collecting the award on behalf of the State of Victoria, were:

  • Robert Velins: Executive Director, Network Integrity and Project Assurance, Public Transport Authority and also State Project Director of the HCMT project;
  • Damien Augustinus: Executive Director, Plenary Group; and
  • RPS’ Jim Boston: Executive Director of RPS Operations in Melbourne and State Commercial and Legal Director of the HCMT project.

Jim said he was delighted to attend the ceremony and accept the award on behalf of the project, and although other members of his team were unfortunately unable to attend the event, he recognised the significant contributions from the greater RPS transaction team including William Hayes, Thomas Mills, Simon Davis, Timothy Grigg and Thomas Pearce, amongst others. The trip to London also afforded him a valuable opportunity to meet other RPS executives: including Business Information Manager Douglas Lamont (also attending the awards), RPS Ireland Highways and Transportation Director Christy O’Sullivan and RPS Senior Director Henry Bonham, to discuss recent developments and collaboration opportunities in the global PPP market.

The Canberra Light Rail System PPP project won Transport Deal of the Year (Asia-Pacific).

Canberra's ‘City to Gungahlin’ light rail project is the first stage of a light rail network that will have a transformative effect on Canberra, the Capital of Australia. It represents a substantial financial investment by both the ACT Government and the private sector in the city. The light rail system will redefine the entrance to the nation’s capital and will play a vital role in ensuring Canberra’s future as a vibrant, sustainable city.

The Project is being delivered as a PPP (Availability). It has a capital design and construct value of approximately AU$707 million and total project value of AU$939 million (measured as at 1 January 2016). The Project is presently in its construction phase, with operations due to commence in late 2018 and the operations term through to 2039.

From October 2014 to May 2016 the Territory conducted a competitive tender process, managed by the RPS EIG team (as transaction manager) together with other key advisors to the ACT Government, to identify the private sector party to deliver the project. The project was awarded to Canberra Metro, comprising Pacific Partnerships Pty Ltd (operator and equity investor); Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments (CLR) Ltd, (equity investor); Mitsubishi Corporation Limited (equity investor);John Holland Pty Ltd (builder, operator and equity investor); CPB Contractors Pty Ltd (builder); Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting (operations consultant) and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) (light rail vehicle supplier).

The project has achieved many remarkable outcomes, particularly given it has been progressed by a small jurisdiction with no previous rail, light rail or PPP experience. RPS EIG was appointed as the Transaction Manager for the procurement and negotiation phase, the EIG team was led by Kay Salvair Smith as Transaction Director and John McLuckie at RPS’ Sydney Pitt Street office.

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