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Monday, 15th April 2024
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Financial advisers sought for new PPP projects of IEP300m Back  
Revenues will be recovered from tolls exclusively and, like the existing toll bridge, a revenue sharing agreement will be in place with the public sector, represented by the National Roads Authority, with funds going directly to the Exchequer.
The financing element of the second Westlink toll bridge in Dublin is nearing completion. Heads of agreement were reached between National Toll Roads Limited and the National Roads Authority in December.
Although billed as a PPP project, the new Westlink bridge is distinct from most planned road PPPs as there is an existing franchisee in place, and it was the franchisee which brought the idea for development to the public sector. EU public procurement rules did not apply to the project.
The capital cost will be IEP16.8 million and will be funded by National Toll Roads using equity and bank debt.
Revenues will be recovered from tolls exclusively and, like the existing toll bridge, a revenue sharing agreement will be in place with the public sector, represented by the National Roads Authority, with funds going directly to the Exchequer.

The NRA placed an ad in December seeking tenders for legal consultants to the NRA for PPP projects. Expressions of interest have come from law firms in Britain, Belgium and the United States so far. Tie-ins to local law firms are expected. A requirement was for private finance experience internationally.

The NRA plans to advertise also for financial advises for roads PPP projects, and again expects international tenders, possibly in association with local Irish firms.Gerry Murphy, the PPP manager at NRA appointed last September says the planned PPP roads projects in Waterford and Limerick will be covered by EU procurement rules. It is expected that each of these IEP70 million urban by-pass design, build, operate and finance contracts will be put out to tender by the end of this year. The NRA is also preparing a IEP150 million PPP project for the Kilcock to Kinnegad section of the Dublin Galway road.

Although still on the small side for project finance, Murphy says there is considerable interest from banks, nationally and internationally, in these projects and in the IEP1 billion of further roads PPPs which are planned under the National Development Plan.

Charterhouse and Depfa Bank, an IFSC bank, are among international banks which have discussed PPP financing with the NRA.

There has also been significant expressions of interest from French contractors in construction aspects, says Murphy, and they would probably bring in French banks in a bidding consortium.

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