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Growth to continue in PPPs Back  
Christine Moran and Des McCarthy on developments in PPP financing in 2003.
Last year witnessed a new impetus in PPP projects in Ireland and the outlook for 2004 is encouraging. Already this year the National Roads Authority (NRA) has announced the signing of the contract for the M1 Dundalk Western Bypass road scheme with Celtic Roads Group (Dundalk) Ltd - a consortium comprising Dragados Concesiones, Edmund Nuttall Ltd, HBG Ascon Ltd and NTR plc. The project is a key part of the M1 road corridor and is also a part of the Trans-European Road Network (Euroroute E01). Currently the M1 motorway terminates to the south of Dundalk and all traffic must pass through Dundalk town. The new section of road, which by passes Dundalk town and is expected to open to traffic in late 2006, is expected to reduce travel times by up to 30 minutes at peak times.

The terms of the contract provide that the consortium will design, construct, finance, operate and maintain, during a concession period of 30 years, a new 11 km section of motorway, along with approximately 7 km of new link roads, 12 over/underbridges and a majorrailway overbridge. In addition, the consortium will take over the operation and maintenance of 43 km of existing motorway (including the recently constructed Boyne Bridge and an adjacent toll plaza) for a 30-year period. IIB Bank and its sister company KBC Project Finance Co-Arranged the project finance facilities for the project.

The NRA expect two further Roads PPP’s to reach contract award this year - the N8 Rathcormac to Fermoy By-pass and the N25 Waterford bypass. Additionally the N3 Clonee to Kells PPP scheme, encompassing the construction of 50 km of motorway/dual carriageway and 24 km of link road, is due to go to tender in the near future.

In addition to the PPP roads programme there is a pipeline of projects in a number of different sectors, which should happen in 2004. In the Waste Management Sector, both Fingal and Galway County Councils have sought tenders from interested parties relating to landfill and waste management PPP's. In the area of health, both the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Southern Health Board are expected to progress two PPP nursing home bundles for which advisers were appointed last year.

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