A63 Motorway

Key Data

Country:
France
Sector:
Transportation
Project Capital Cost:
c.US$1.4bn
Investment Date:
2011
Status:
Realised in 2016
Asset Overview:

Upgrade of an existing c.100km secondary road linking Salles (Gironde) and St-Geours de Maremne (Landes)

The story in stats

US$1.4bn

project capital cost

40 year

concession

7 months

ahead of schedule

Driving Success

The A63 autoroute project in South West France included the enlargement and upgrade of an existing 105km road linking the towns of Salles (Gironde) and St-Geours de Maremne from a two to a three-lane highway. The project also comprised the construction of two cross-lane toll barriers and parking facilities for 1,200 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

We delivered the upgraded motorway seven months ahead of schedule thanks to the careful structuring of the project and the seamless teamwork with our consortium partners who included experts in road enlargement works. 

Background

Our Infrastructure team possesses a wealth of experience in the development, financial structuring and operation of long-term, concession-style Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The A63 motorway project was an opportunity to bring our experience and knowledge to a complex and high profile European PPP project. Furthermore, it aligned with our philosophy of partnering with similarly-minded top-tier developers and operators.

Our partners in the Atlandes consortium asked us to join early in the development period because of our experience of leading projects and in-depth understanding of traffic revenue forecasting, which underpinned the viability and success of the project. Subsequently, we played a major role in assembling the bid team and utilised all our process management expertise to lead the team through a successful bid.

The project was eligible for EU funding while the construction and operation of a toll system provides income for the duration of the 40-year concession. Furthermore, an innovative financing structure, rarely seen in traffic infrastructure projects, has helped to provide stability and certainty over the long-term concession.  It has introduced a layer of long-term debt from both the European Investment Bank and commercial lenders at initial financial close. 

In June 2015, the project was successfully refinanced on a long term basis with no residual refinancing risk at very attractive conditions.




Creating Real Value

The A63 motorway project was successfully completed in November 2013, a remarkable seven months ahead of schedule. The shortened timeframe was notably due to two key components in the process. First, the collaboration we fostered between the project partners that enabled quick and efficient decision making and second, the contracts and incentives we put in place with subcontractors which ensured timeframes were met or were ahead of schedule.

Construction of the modern wider motorway will contribute to swifter travel between the greater Bordeaux region and the Basque coast. It will also provide an efficient route for goods transfer between Europe and Iberian Peninsula helping to reduce pollution. Safety improvements are a key benefit of the new, improved A63 motorway and the wider, three-lane motorway includes a dedicated light vehicle lane which HGVs are barred from using. In addition, the new 1,200 space car park for HGVs has created a secure resting place for drivers at risk of fatigue.

The upgrade of the motorway has been developed with a focus on the environment and the impact of the construction on the local habitat and wildlife is being closely monitored.

The initial investment in the asset, which InfraRed had made on behalf of its investors, was fully realised in November 2016 through a sale to two leading French institutional investors.

On a complex project like this, it really helps to work with partners that get the big picture, as well as scrutinising the detail. InfraRed’s straightforward approach and hands-on involvement meant we were able to work very well as a team to successfully deliver this project.

Patrice Dessiaume
Former senior bid director at Colas and former General Manager of Atlandes SA during the construction period