Russell McVeagh acted as New Zealand counsel for the bank syndicate financing the Northern Express Group consortium in relation to the Puhoi to Warkworth Public Private Partnership (PPP), which was signed this week.
SH1 between Pūhoi and Warkworth is a key transport link connecting the north to the upper North Island freight triangle of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga. The route is part of the Roads of National Significance programme that the New Zealand Government has established to move people and freight between and within major centres more safely and efficiently.
The Northern Express Group was selected as the Preferred Bidder to finance, design, construct and maintain the new Puhoi to Warkworth motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected six-year period to build the 18.5 kilometre motorway. The Northern Express Group is made up of entities with considerable experience in the design, construction, finance, maintenance and management of key infrastructure projects. The principal partners in the consortium include the Accident Compensation Corporation, HRL Morrison & Co Public Infrastructure Partners, Acciona Concesiones S.L., Fletcher Building Limited and Higgins Contractors Limited.
Full ownership of the highway will remain with the public sector, and the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway is expected to open for traffic by 2022.