CIMIC Group companies Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and UGL, as part of the Canberra Metro consortium, will finance, design, build and operate the next phase of Canberra’s world class Stage 2A light rail system from the City to Commonwealth Park.
The Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A project is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government. Canberra Metro was awarded the $577 million contract following a single select procurement process, generating revenue of approximately $227.5m for CPB Contractors and UGL.
The Stage 2A “catenary-free” or wireless extension will be delivered under Canberra Metro’s existing public private partnership (PPP) with the ACT Government.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the contract represented a significant investment in Canberra by both Governments.
“It is an example of how the National Capital Investment Framework will result in ongoing investment in our infrastructure,” he said.
This is the third Canberra Light Rail package for Canberra Metro, which includes CIMIC’s Pacific Partnerships (sponsor and equity funding), CPB Contractors (design and construction) and UGL (operations and maintenance).
Following on from the initial Stage 1 of the network (City to Gungahlin), Canberra Metro is currently delivering five additional light rail vehicles with onboard energy storage batteries to allow wireless operation, and an expansion of the existing Depot.
CIMIC Group Executive Chairman Juan Santamaria said Canberra Light Rail’s progressive stages were modernising the city’s public transport system, connecting residential areas with employment centres and social and cultural hubs.
“We are proud to apply the Group’s light rail expertise to deliver a convenient and environmentally friendly transport option for Canberrans,” he said.
Pacific Partnerships Managing Director Simon Nicholls said the lifecycle approach within the PPP model has proven highly successful.
“Canberra Metro has mobilised a sustainable finance solution, a reliable delivery contractor and the experienced operations team necessary for a long-term light rail service focused on serving community needs,” he said.
UGL Managing Director Doug Moss said the company was involved in more than 150 million passenger journeys across Australia and New Zealand each year, which would grow with the addition of Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A.
“Canberrans have embraced Stage 1 since operations started in 2019, with a service frequency reliability of at least 99.9 per cent, delivering services every 5-6 minutes in peak and 10-15 minutes in off-peak,” he said.
The project is the next important step in taking light rail all the way to Woden. Canberra Metro funded the PPP finance contribution for the new Stage 2A 1.7km extension through an innovative green loan that recognises the project’s carbon reduction benefits – with Stage 1 operating on 100 per cent renewable electricity.
The design and construction scope of work includes delivery of three new stops at Edinburgh Avenue, City South and Commonwealth Avenue, with construction due to start in January 2024 for a four-year duration.