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Unread 01-07-2009, 02:00   #1
Colm Moore
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Default [Article] RPA selects two bidders for Metro North project

RPA selects two bidders for Metro North project

TWO GROUPS backed by a series of multinationals are set to bid for the right to build and operate a new rail network valued at up to €5 billion.

The State agency charged with developing the Republic’s rail networks announced yesterday that it has chosen two bidders for the Metro North project, the underground rail line which will link Dublin’s city centre with its airport and northern suburb of Swords.

The Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) said that it has asked the Celtic Metro and Metro Express consortiums to put forward their best and final offers to build and manage the project.

The groups each combine multinational building and engineering businesses, rail and public transport operators and financiers (see panel).

Partners in each group have experience of operating rail and tram systems in Europe and elsewhere.

Metro Express partners include AIB, Irish construction group Sisk and locally-based electrical and instrumentation specialist Mercury. Bombardier, whose aerospace division has a manufacturing base near Belfast, is also part of the group.

Celtic’s partners includes Mitsui, which has a long-standing presence in Ireland, and a division of Barclay’s Bank, which has Irish businesses.

The winner of the final bidding round will build and operate the rail line. The RPA will pay the company over 25 years from the date that its starts carrying passengers. This system allows the consortium to recoup its costs and earn a profit.

The cost of building the line has been estimated at between €2 billion and €5 billion. According to recent reports, the recession forced the bidders to lower their costs. The agency said yesterday that it was pleased with the level of competition for the project and added that the final process should deliver value for money to the State while boosting the economy.

According to the RPA, the project will create 4,000 jobs, while Metro Express said in a statement that it could employ between 5,000 and 7,000 people.

The RPA has applied to An Bord Pleanála for an order that will allow the project to go ahead.

The board is not expected to make a decision before September 4th.

If it approves the plan, the RPA will name the successful bidder early next year. The Government then has to approve the decision, and work can then begin on the project.

Celtic Metro and Metro Express saw off competition from two other consortiums, also made up largely of multinationals, to reach the final stage of the competition.

Metro bidders


John Sisk & Son : Leading Irish construction firm

AIB : Irish bank

Mercury : Irish engineering group which built the Luas electrical systems

Bombardier : Builds trams and locomotives

Macquarie Group : Part of the Australian bank of the same name; owns and runs rail projects around the world

Global Via Infraestructuras (GIV) : Spanish group, already working on M50 upgrade and operator of seven rail networks

Transdev RATP : Combination of London-listed rail and public transport builder and operator Transdev, and Paris Metro operator RATP

FCC : Spanish construction group

Alpine : Austrian-based tunnel-building specialist


Barclay’s Private Equity : Division of British bank Barclay’s

Obrascon Huartes Lain : Spanish construction and engineering group

Mitsui : Japanese engineering and industrial group

Soares da Costa : Portuguese construction and engineering group

Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras : Spanish group specialising in road and public transport construction and management

CAF : Spanish builder of trams and trains

MTR : Hong Kong-based rail network operator
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Unread 01-07-2009, 02:03   #2
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RPA has announced details of the two Tenderers who have been selected to proceed to the final stage of the Metro North PPP procurement competition. The two tenderers are :

Celtic Metro Group (Barclays Private Equity, Obrascon Huarte Lain, Mitsui, Soares da Costa, Iridium Concesionesde Infraestructuras S.A., CAF and MTR)

Metro Express (Macquarie Capital, Global Via Infrastructuras, Allied Irish Bank, Bombardier and Transdev RATP)

This marks a significant milestone in the delivery of the project. RPA plan to formally commence the final stage of the procurement competition following a decision being made on the Metro North Railway Order Application.

RPA are pleased with the level of competition in the Metro North procurement process to date and believes that the final stage of the competition can deliver a value for money solution for the state whilst providing an important stimulus to the economy.

Under the Metro North Public Private Partnership (PPP) the private sector predominantly finances the construction of the project and this is then repaid by a service charge (availability charge) by the RPA over a 25 year period from the date that passenger services commence on Metro North. PPPs are particularly suited to the current economic environment in Ireland whereby the government may not want to or may not be in a position to increase its direct levels of borrowing to fund infrastructure development. PPPs make projects affordable. The ‘infrastructure gap’, and its negative impact on economic growth and job creation has been recognised for many years. Across Europe, the need to improve infrastructure particularly in the transport sector, is seen as a necessary condition to successful economic growth. However, governments have limited financial resources to devote to increased capital expenditure and improving public services and face restrictions on their ability to raise debt. In order to bridge the growing gap between the cost of the infrastructure needed and the resources available, and to ensure that the infrastructure is delivered as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, the key question is how to deliver cost-efficient investment. In this context, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a growing element of public sector procurement across Europe

In the short term, Metro North will provide an important stimulus to construction activity. The project is expected to create 4,000 direct construction jobs and thousands more indirect jobs. The consortium that will be selected to build Metro North is likely to include both Irish and international contractors and much of the work will involve local contractors, professional service firms and local workers. Other sectors of the regional economy are likely to benefit such as those in the construction material supplying industry. There will also be secondary spin off impacts due to the expenditure of wages in the local economy by the construction workforce. Sectors which will benefit include accommodation and lunch and evening meal providers.

Metro North will address a significant deficit in public transport infrastructure in north Dublin city and in Fingal, the fastest growing county in Ireland. It will facilitate development in the corridor which is forecast by Fingal County Council to generate 37,000 additional jobs and more than double the existing level of economic activity and employment in the area. It is crucial to the continued expansion of Dublin Airport and will underpin the significant investment already made in the economic regeneration of Ballymun.

Click here to view or download Metro North Tenderers Press Release (PDF)

Click here to view the present phase of Metro North
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Unread 01-07-2009, 07:11   #3
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Will these prices be fixed or can they slide.

I would hope they are fixed but they again this is Ireland

Last edited by Trampas : 01-07-2009 at 13:20.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:54   #4
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No Veolia?

I guess that means that the metro north will never run on the luas green line

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Unread 01-07-2009, 13:12   #5
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Veoila's contract is currently up for renewal, it's a 5 year deal from what I know

There is no way under the current plans for a metro service to run on the green line
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Unread 01-07-2009, 14:29   #6
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Very surprised that Alstom didn't make it, especially over the development of the new 43m trams and their future extensions etc...

So its Bombardier (Porto)

v's CAF (Sevilla)
R.I.P. T21 Eradicate Fianna Fáil (Totally)
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Unread 01-07-2009, 14:41   #7
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The Bombardier units of the Rotterdam metro have been shown a few times on RPA material so they are also an option:



Bombardier have also completed the units for Randstad Rail which could be similair to what we could expect:


Remember that Metro North is only 2.4m (to be compatible with Luas) and not the recommended 2.65m or 2.8m widths that nearly all metro systems, light or heavy, are using. For comparison the Rotterdam, Porto and Seville are 2.65m wide (tram width) systems.

More than likely the decision to those two consortiums came down to money, money and money.

The financial security of the consortiums were an issue too no doubt.

Last edited by Mark : 01-07-2009 at 14:56.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 14:47   #8
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The operations side of both are very decent, one runs the Metro in Paris the other runs the incredibly well run Hong Kong metro system and has a 50/50 stake in a UK rail venture.

We did meet with one of the two failed bidders a while a back
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