The Company is pleased to advise that the Queensland Government today announced the GoldLinQ Consortium as the successful proponent for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit Project (GCRT).
In an 18 year Public Private Partnership contract with the State Government of A$1 billion, GoldLinQ will design, build, finance, operate and maintain a light rail public transportation system. Consisting of 14 vehicles and 16 stations, it will service a 13 kilometre route between the Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach; a part of one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.
Patronage numbers are expected to grow to 50,000 passengers per day and GoldLinQ has in-built capacity to cater for up to 75,000 passengers per day. As locals and visitors adopt this reliable and environmentally friendly form of public transport, GoldLinQ is well placed to meet future demands on the service.
The GoldLinQ Consortium includes:
- KDR2 Gold Coast Pty Ltd – operations and maintenance;
- Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Ltd – design and supply of the light rail vehicles and rail systems;
- McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust.) Pty Ltd – infrastructure and building works; and
- Plenary Group Pty Ltd – financial arranger and commercial adviser.
Uniquely, the State, Gold Coast City Council and the Commonwealth have coordinated to fund the project as a PPP, recognising the best balance of public and private sector contribution to optimise value for money and achieve innovation in the project.
The Chairman of the GoldLinQ Consortium, Mr John Witheriff, said this long term investment by the public and private sectors is a real “city changer” and GoldLinQ is determined to work with local residents, businesses and Government to ensure every possible benefit is realised for the Gold Coast.
“If we as a community embrace the light rail system and work together to ensure it delivers people into each of our precincts then there is the opportunity for the City and its economy to make a major leap forward”, Mr Witheriff said.
Mr Witheriff took the opportunity to announce that he would work closely with Gold Coast business precincts to leverage the economic opportunities that 50,000 passengers per day represents.
“I want to work directly with local businesses, developing new ideas and attractions to encourage people into their precincts and into their businesses”, he said.
Construction will commence in early 2012 on the light rail corridor including road widening and service re-locations. Construction labour and subcontractor businesses will be drawn largely from the Gold Coast and surrounding region.
GoldLinQ’s private financing will include full term 18 year debt from international banks (Intesa SanPaulo SpA, Export Development Canada, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and KfW IPEX – Bank Gmbh) – an outcome that enhances financing cost certainty over the life of the project.
Equity financing will come from Plenary Group, Keolis SA, Aveng Australia, Marubeni Group and International Public Partnerships Limited. The equity group has been selected for the experience and capabilities they bring to transport projects and their long term commitment to local partnerships.
The first passengers will board the GCRT in 2014 and Gold Coast residents will see light rail vehicles travelling the route for several months prior as vehicles and systems are tested to ensure operational certainty and safety.