ACCIONA, in partnership with Ferrovial, has been named preferred tenderer to design and construct the Clarence River Crossing, a 1.5 km four-lane bridge in the Australian town of Harwood, with a vertical clearance above the river of at least 30 metres. The project is worth approximately AU$250 million, equivalent to €172 million.
Two years ago, a consortium comprised of the same companies was awarded the Pacific Highway Upgrade project between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads, a 19.5 km section that will be used by more than 15,000 people every day. The contract included a bridge over the River Nambucca in Macksville, two bridges across Warrell Creek and two intersections.
Both projects are part of the Pacific Highway Upgrade plan to improve and extend the highway that connects Sydney with Brisbane, two of the most important cities in the country. The works on the upgrade are being funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.
The Pacific Highway Upgrade was ACCIONA Infrastructure’s first major project in New South Wales, although the company already had a significant presence in Australia.
In Brisbane, ACCIONA led the consortium (Transcity Joint Venture with BMD and GHELLA) for the Legacy Way tunnels project worth AU$1.5 billion, which were inaugurated last year. The project won several international awards, including “2015 Australia Project of the Year” from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia; “2013 International Tunnelling Project of the Year”; and “2014 International Association of Public Participation, Winner in the Infrastructure Category”. The project also picked up other awards for its use of innovative and sustainable construction methods, such as the “2012 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Award for Innovation” and the “2014 International Road Federation, Award for Environmental Excellence”. A new tunnelling record of 850m/month was set during the construction phase using a 12.5 metre diameter tunnelling machine, achieving a maximum tunnelling speed of 50 m/day, a world record for tunnel construction. Transcity Joint Venture with ACCIONA as a lead partner, is now responsible for operating and maintaining the tunnels for the next ten years.
ACCIONA is also involved in designing, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining the 41 km of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in Queensland, as part of the Nexus Infrastructure Consortium, which also consists of Ferrovial, Plenary Group and Transfield Services. The project is worth AU$1.6 billion and in 2015 was recognised in the “Road Deal of the Year” category of the Project Finance International awards, as well as receiving the “IJ Global Award for APAC Deal of 2015”.
As part of the ALTRAC Light Rail Consortium, ACCIONA is constructing a 12 km light rail line in Sydney. With a budget of AU$2.1 billion, the new Central Business District and South East Light Rail project will be a vital component in the city’s public transport system, significantly reducing traffic congestion. The project was recognised as the best public-private agreement in 2015 at the Project Finance International awards; the “Best Project Finance Deal” in Australia and New Zealand by FinanceAsia; and as the “Asia Pacific Deal of the Year” by Infrastructure Investor Magazine.
ACCIONA has invested more than AU$650 million in its operations in Australia since 2002 and the company employs more than 500 people around the country. In the next few years it will analyse renewable energy, infrastructure and water projects that will help the country to develop further. ACCIONA has constructed and owns three wind farms in Australia (one through a joint-venture) and has gained solid experience of construction projects in this sector. The Waubra windfarm in Victoria, the Gunning windfarm in New South Wales and the Cathedral Rocks windfarm in South Australia produce a combined 304.5 MW of clean energy, capable of supplying the needs of 205,000 households. ACCIONA is also providing engineering, construction and operations services to the 20 MW Royalla solar project near Canberra.
In the water sector, ACCIONA operates the Adelaide desalination plant, a pioneering facility in the country thanks to its advanced pre-treatment phase using ultrafiltration membranes and a two-stage membrane configuration that improves energy efficiency and increases the recovery rate of the treated water. This desalination plant has received 10 awards for excellence from recognised institutions and international associations in the sector. The company also operates the Mundaring drinking water treatment plant near Perth (Western Australia) under a concession agreement as part of the Helena Water consortium, consisting of ACCIONA Agua, TRILITY,Aberdeen Asset Maangement. This PPP (Public-Private Partnership) project in the state of Western Australia has an initial capacity of 167,000 m3/day, with a maximum capacity of 240,000 m3/day. It has received numerous international awards such as the “2012 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Government Partnership National Infrastructure Excellence Award”, the “2012 Global Water Intelligence, Water Deal of the Year” and “2011 Project Finance Magazine, Asia-Pacific Water Deal of the Year”. The agreement includes the operation and maintenance of the plant for 35 years.