CKI Finalized Deal for Sydney Cross City Tunnel Project
19 December, 2002 -- Hong Kong
The Cross City Motorway Consortium ("CCM"), led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited ("CKI"), announced today that it was awarded the contract of the Cross City Tunnel project in Sydney by the New South Wales Government. Construction work will commence soon, with the tunnel expected to begin operations by end- 2006.
CKI has a 50 per cent interest in CCM. Other members of the consortium include D B Capital Partners and Bilfinger Berger BOT BmbH, with 30 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.
The HK$4.3 billion (A$1 billion) toll tunnel will be over two kilometers long, linking Sydney's eastern suburbs with the west side of the city. It is designed to alleviate the current heavy road traffic on William Street connecting King's Cross to the Darling Harbour Bridge, and is expected to carry about 90,000 vehicles a day at opening. There will be no toll station in the tunnel and an advanced electronic tolling system will be installed. According to New South Wales Transport Minister Carl Scully, the tunnel will form a vital part of Sydney's future transport planning.
CCM has taken the initiative to improve and amend the original proposal when carrying out discussions with the New South Wales Government on the arrangement. The proposed changes include extending the exterior of the eastern side of the tunnel and improving the access arrangements for Cowper Wharf Road. Such improvements are designed to minimise the impact of construction on the nearby community, while at the same time enhancing the long-term benefits for road users. CCM will also introduce a new, state-of-the-art design for the ventilation system to ensure that the air quality meets the standards stipulated by the Government. In addition, for the convenience of users, toll collection will be fully automated.
The Cross City Tunnel is CKI's first infrastructure project in New South Wales. It forms a good synergy with the Group's existing energy investments in Australia, namely Envestra, ETSA Utilities, Powercor and CitiPower. The Cross City Tunnel is also the company's first transportation infrastructure project in Australia. The addition of this project expands CKI's transportation portfolio which includes some 500 kilometres of toll ways, bridges and tunnels in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Commenting on the project, Mr. H.L. Kam, CKI's Group Managing Director, said, "The Sydney Cross City Tunnel is an important milestone for CKI in the development of Australia's infrastructure. CKI is one of the major international investors in Australia; the Group, together with associate company Hongkong Electric Holdings Ltd, has invested about A$7.2 billion (HK$32 billion) in the country. CKI will capitalize on our experience from previous investments in the energy sector in Australia, and fully utilize our expertise acquired in managing various infrastructure projects throughout Asia in the development and operation of the Tunnel."
Mr. Kam continued, "The Sydney Cross City Tunnel also signifies the expansion of CKI's transportation investment beyond Mainland China and Hong Kong. We are currently exploring transportation opportunities in Australia and other parts of the world and are in the final stage of examination for some of them."
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited (CKI) is the largest publicly listed infrastructure company in Hong Kong with investments in Hongkong Electric, infrastructure projects, infrastructure materials and infrastructure-related businesses. The Company has operations in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Australia, Canada and the Philippines.
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