Article done by prof of SSBM Geneva Dario Silic, PhD
Professor of Financial Management at SSBM Geneva visited the project metro in Melbourne, Victoria state in Australia.
This project is a revolutionary transport transformation with the ambitious Project Metro of Victoria Government. The project aims to redefine the city’s public transportation system. Project Metro is a visionary initiative that promises to enhance the lives of millions of residents and visitors alike and this 9 km tunnel network will connect East and West part of Melbourne.
The tunnel will connect the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines with the Sunbury line, creating a new cross-city line that bypasses Flinders Street station and the City Loop. The line is also planned to serve Melbourne Airport via a new branch line west of Sunshine station.
In December 2017, the Government of Victoria selected the Cross Yarra Partnership to deliver the “tunnel and stations” public-private partnership (PPP project) based on Availability fee mechanism project financing. The Cross Yarra Partnership consortium (Project Co) is the private party contracted under the PPP arrangement.
The consortium comprises of a design and construction unincorporated joint venture of Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd, John Holland Pty Ltd and Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Ltd, John Holland Pty Ltd as ther maintenance subcontractor, Capella Capital as thr financial sponsor and multiple equity and debt providers. Under this model, Project Co is responsible for the design, construction and financing of the twin nine kilometre tunnels.
Project Co will also be responsible for specific maintenance and other services to support the use of the infrastructure delivered by the package for 25 years.
The Tunnel and Stations PPP is an ‘availabilitybased’ Public Private Partnership being procured under the Partnerships Victoria framework. This is a long-term service contract between the public and private sector where the State pays the private sector a service fee to deliver infrastructure and related services over the 25 year term. The Partnerships Victoria model seeks to achieve is better value for money by capturing the expertise and efficiencies of the private sector in designing, financing, building and maintaining infrastructure projects and providing services on a whole-of-life basis.
The project aims to create a seamless and interconnected network that will significantly reduce travel time and improve overall transportation efficiency using 5 metro stations (Arden, Parkwille, State Library, Town hall, Anzac). With state-of-the-art technology and innovative design, commuters can look forward to a more reliable and punctual public transportation system. According to the project’s business case, this project will allow an extra 39,000 passengers to travel in the peak period each day, with a further 41,000 extra passengers if 10-car trains are introduced.
One of the key objectives of Project Metro is to extend the reach of Melbourne’s public transportation network. By expanding the existing infrastructure and introducing new routes, the project aims to connect more suburbs and neighborhoods, ensuring that every corner of the city is easily accessible. This expansion is expected to not only ease congestion but also foster economic growth in previously underserved areas. The tunnel will connect the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines with the Sunbury line, creating a new cross-city line that bypasses Flinders Street station and the City Loop. The line is also planned to serve Melbourne Airport via a new branch line west of Sunshine station.
The project is being delivered by Rail Projects Victoria, formerly the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, at an estimated cost of $9 to $11 billion. The Capital expenditire has been funded with a mix of debt and private business investment.
The project incorporates eco-friendly technologies and design principles to minimize its carbon footprint. From energy-efficient trains to green infrastructure along the routes, Melbourne’s metro system is set to be a model of environmental responsibility.
The Metro Tunnel will open in 2025, a year ahead of schedule. Rail Projects Victoria (RPV), on behalf of the Victorian Government, engaged 2 key contractors to build the Metro Tunnel.
Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) is the consortium building the twin tunnels and 5 new stations – including John Holland, Lendlease and Bouygues.
Rail Network Alliance (RNA) is the consortium building the station entrances, connections to the Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines, and installing new High-Capacity Signalling – comprising John Holland, CPB Contractors, Alstom, AECOM, RPV and Metro Trains. Four tunnel boring machines (TBMs), each weighing more than 1100 tonnes and 120m long, were used to dig the twin 9km tunnels.
The TBMs were fitted with drill-like cutterheads measuring 7.3m across, which could tunnel through rock 6 times harder than concrete. The project, has created 3,500 jobs during peak construction
In conclusion, Project Metro is poised to redefine the way Melburnians commute, offering a glimpse into a future where public transportation is efficient, sustainable, and community-oriented. As the project progresses, Melbourne is on the cusp of a transformative journey that will undoubtedly shape the city’s identity and elevate it to new heights of modernity and progress.