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International shortlist unveiled for $6bn Australian tunnel

11 Aug 16 A shortlist of three consortia has been announced for the biggest public transport scheme in the history of the Australian state of Victoria.

The AU$6bn (£3.5bn) public-private partnership project involves the construction of the 9km Metro Tunnel and five new underground stations.

“The best construction companies in the world are lining up to build the biggest public transport project in Australia – the Metro Tunnel,” said premier Daniel Andrews.

On the shortlist are:

  • Continuum Victoria – comprising Acciona Infrastructure, Ferrovial Agroman, Honeywell, Downer EDI and Plenary Origination;
  • Cross Yarra Partnership – comprising Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital;
  • Moving Melbourne Together – comprising Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, Ghella, Salini Impregilo, Serco and Macquarie Capital.

Up to six tunnel boring machines are set to be used during construction, each up to 100m long and weighing more than 1,000t. In preparation for the work, three shafts will be excavated in the central business district (CBD)  to depths of up to 11 storeys. The shafts will enable the roadheaders to be lowered into the ground to begin excavating around two million cubic metres of soil and rock.

The PPP will build and fit-out the tunnel and the five new underground stations at Arden, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.

Shortlisted bidders for the PPP will be asked to submit a formal proposal by early next year, with a contract expected to be awarded by the end of 2017. Work on the project will begin in 2018.

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