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Riverlinx Consortium Selected to Deliver London’s Silvertown Tunnel Project

London – WEBWIRE
  • RiverLinx consortium has been appointed to deliver the Silvertown tunnel project following a three-year procurement process by Transport for London.
  • The contract is worth about £1 billion and includes the design of a 1.4-kilometres twin-bore road tunnel under the River Thames, as well as 0.6-kilometers of access ramps. 
  • The Silvertown project will significantly reduce congestion in and around the neighboring 122 year old Blackwall tunnel. Currently, an estimated one million hours are wasted each year queuing for the Blackwall tunnel.
  • The new tunnel is the first major road crossing across the River Thames since the QE2 Bridge at Dartford opened in October 1991, and the project will result in a six-fold increase in public transport provision across this area of the River Thames.

The RiverLinx consortium - comprising Aberdeen Standard Investments, BAM PPP PGGM, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK E&C - has been named by Transport for London (TfL) as Preferred Bidder to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Silvertown tunnel in East London. 

This new tunnel will connect the Greenwich peninsula and the Silvertown district. The contract is worth about £1 billion, and design and construction of the project will be delivered by a consortium of BAM Nuttall (including sister company Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau providing specialist tunnel engineering expertise), Ferrovial Agroman and SK E&C. 

The appointment follows a competitive bidding process first started by TfL in March 2016, with bidders shortlisted in March 2017 and a final decision in May 2019. 

The design includes a 1.4-kilometre twin-bore road tunnel under the River Thames as well as 0.6-kilometres of access ramps.  It will connect south of the River Thames with the access to the existing Blackwall Tunnel and north of the River Thames with the Tidal Basin Roundabout, in Silvertown, easing traffic congestion in this key London location. The tunnel will also be located within the extended Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which from October 2021 will mean any vehicles not meeting strict emission standards will have to pay an additional ULEZ charge to TfL to use the tunnel once it’s open. 

The catchment area of the new Silvertown Tunnel is expected to see a projected population increase of 650,000 people and see an estimated 286,000 new jobs created by 2036. 

The new infrastructure will serve as an alternative to the Blackwall Tunnel, improving traffic flows not only under the River Thames but also in the approaches between Docklands / East London and Southeast London. Currently, an estimated one million hours are wasted each year queuing for the Blackwall tunnel. For those people directly affected this has an economic cost of £10 million every year. 

The new tunnel will also significantly improve cross-river public transport connections. There is currently only one cross-river bus link in East London due to the lack of suitable crossings. However, the Silvertown project will provide a dedicated bus lane in either direction. The current number of buses which cross the river at this location will increase to 37 buses an hour in each direction - all of which are expected to be zero emission from launch. 

By significantly reducing local congestion, using access tolls to encourage sustainable transport modes and increasing public transport provision the project will have a significant beneficial impact on local air quality. The tender requirements will require Riverlinx to undertake comprehensive improvements to the existing urban environment either side of the river, enhancing public spaces and promoting more walking and cycling. 

The commercial and financial close of the project are expected later this year, after which construction will commence.  The project will run for twenty-five years beyond construction, with RiverLinx responsible for the operation and maintenance of the project.  Under the terms of the agreement, TfL will only start paying for the project once the tunnel is operational, limiting their financial exposure on this project.



About Aberdeen Standard Investments

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is a leading global asset manager dedicated to creating long-term value for our clients, and is a brand of the investment businesses of Standard Life Aberdeen plc, one of the world’s largest investment companies.  

With over 1,000 investment professionals ASI manages £519.4 billion (as at 31 March 2019) of assets worldwide and have clients in 80 countries supported by 50 relationship offices. ASI is high-conviction; long-term investor who believe teamwork and collaboration are the key to delivering repeatable, superior investment performance. 

ASI has assets under management of £4 billion within the infrastructure space, invested in over 120 projects across Europe, North America and Australia across transport, healthcare, education, accommodation, and water. 

Standard Life Aberdeen plc is headquartered in Scotland. It has around 1.2 million shareholders and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Standard Life Aberdeen group was formed by the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC on 14 August 2017.

About BAM PPP, BAM Nuttall and Wayss & Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau

BAM PPP, BAM Nuttall and Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau are operating companies of Royal BAM Group, a worldwide construction services company listed at Euronext Amsterdam. 

BAM PPP is responsible for Royal BAM Group’s involvement in public private partnership (PPP) projects. BAM PPP operates in five key European markets, the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Germany and in selected International markets, in addition to exploring broader project finance investment opportunities. BAM PPP’s sector expertise includes roads, rail, education, health, justice, marine and general accommodation. BAM PPP has reached financial close on 46 projects, with a total capital value of over €8.6 billion.

As one of the largest civil engineering construction companies in the United Kingdom, BAM Nuttall operates in all sectors of the British civil engineering market on a national and a regional basis. Working with a diverse range of public and private sector customers, BAM Nuttall has a worldwide reputation for delivering exceptional civil engineering achievements spanning rail, marine, tunnelling, highways, and energy and water schemes. Clients include Network Rail, Highways Agency; Environment Agency; National Environment Research Council at British Antarctic Survey; Thames Tideway Tunnel and Olympic Delivery Authority. BAM Nuttall’s head offices is based in Camberley.

Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau has a leading position in the German civil engineering market. The company is based in Frankfurt am Main. Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau has a solid reputation for bored tunnels and complex civil engineering projects and is therefore a highly sought-after partner for joint ventures, both in Germany and other countries, where it often works with local Group companies. 

PGGM is a cooperative Dutch pension fund service provider. Institutional clients are offered: asset management, pension fund management, policy advice and management support. On December 31, 2018 PGGM had EUR 211 billion in assets under management and was administrating pensions of 4.4 million participants. Around 750,000 workers in the Dutch healthcare are connected to PGGM&CO, our members organization. Either alone or together with strategic partners, PGGM develops future solutions by linking together pension, care, housing and work.

About Cintra & Ferrovial

Cintra is one of the world’s leading private sector developers of transportation infrastructure in terms of the number of projects and the volume of investment. It currently manages over 1,468 kilometers of toll roads in 24 concessions in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia and Colombia. Cintra is the largest shareholder in the 407 ETR concessionaire, in Ontario, Canada, with a stake of 43.23%. 

Ferrovial Agroman is the construction arm of Ferrovial. It delivers value-driven complex multi-disciplinary design and construction solutions across varied sectors worldwide, including transport, energy and water. The company has operated in the UK and Ireland since 2003. Flagship projects in the UK include Crossrail, Heathrow Terminal 2A, London Underground’s new Northern Line Extension and the Central Section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel as well as the HS2 Enabling Works contract for the Central section. Our activities in Ireland include the M3 motorway Clonee-Kells, widening the M50 in Dublin, the DBFO2 in Northern Ireland and the first trans-border motorway in the A1-N1 corridor. 

About Macquarie Capital

Macquarie Capital is the advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of Macquarie Group. Globally Macquarie Capital focuses on six core sectors: infrastructure, utilities and renewables; real estate; telecommunications, media, entertainment and technology; resources; industrials; and financial institutions. The business has been involved in a number of key road projects – including the €1 billion Blankenburg road tunnel in Rotterdam, the largest road PPP awarded in the Netherlands to date, where Macquarie was majority sponsor. In the UK, Macquarie Capital provided £115m of capital and acted as lead sponsor, sole financial adviser and debt arranger to support the construction of the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which opened in 2017. 

About SK E&C

Since founded in 1977, SK E&C has acquired world-class competitiveness in civil engineering as well as the construction of commercial buildings, residential complexes, oil refineries, gas processing plants, petrochemical plants, power plants, and advanced IT infrastructure. SK E&C is applying the extensive technical expertise and proven construction project track record amassed at sites around the world to build major expressways and arterial roads in the nationwide transportation grid. SK E&C toady is creating new space as Korea’s leading builder of tunnels, underground storage facilities and other underground structures. The competencies and experiences that SK E&C has gained from these EPC projects have enabled to expand the involvement in public private partnership (PPP) development projects and SK E&C is now growing as PPP project developer in the global market. Projects of note in this regard include the Eurasia Tunnel and the Canakkale Bridge in Turkey.

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