The NPRA has entered into the PPP contract for The Sotra Connection with Sotra Link AS. The contract is worth NOK 19.8 billion.

Mrs. Ingrid Dahl Hovland, The Director General of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration  signed the  contract on behalf of the project (Credit: Caroline Maria Nilsen/Norwegian Public Roads Administration).
Mrs. Ingrid Dahl Hovland, The Director General of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration signed the contract on behalf of the project (Credit: Caroline Maria Nilsen/Norwegian Public Roads Administration).

The contract was awarded in September last year. Sotra Link AS will be financing, designing, and engineering, building, operating and maintaining the road facility for 25 years after it is opened to traffic in 2027.  

Director General Ingrid Dahl Hovland signed the contract on behalf of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).  

"It was a great pleasure to sign the contract for the new Sotra Connection. Contract value, contract form and complexity are all quite exceptional. We are now looking forward to the construction work really getting started next year," says Director General Ingrid Dahl Hovland.  

The largest infrastructure contract awarded in EU in 2021 

Director of Construction in the NPRA, Kjell Inge Davik, is very pleased that the PPP contract has now been signed and that construction may begin. 

"Today marks an important milestone for the new Sotra Connection. A lot of people have waited a long time for this project and now we are going to start construction. When traffic is opened in 2027, we will be able to enjoy a new, safe and efficient road system with continuous walking and cycling facilities. "

The contract is the largest single contract entered into by the NPRA ever, and the largest infrastructure contract awarded in EU in 2021. The total cost limit for the project is NOK 23.1 billion (in 2022 value), including preparatory work that has been going on since 2018. Construction time will be five years.  

Proud to have been awarded the contract  

The PPP company Sotra Link AS is owned by three international companies. The Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd, headquartered in Sydney, has a 70 per cent ownership stake. The South Korean construction engineering firm SK ecoplant Co. Ltd has a 20 per cent stake and the Italian industrial group Webuild S.p.A holds 10 per cent of the ownership.    

Christopher M. Bjerke is Managing Director of Sotra Link AS, and will be leading the PP company on behalf of the owners through the contract period.

Bjerke says that they are now getting ready for detailed engineering and construction start.  

"Thanks to an exceptionally good collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, we have covered and resolved many of the classic challenges, even before signing the final contract, that emerge in large construction projects. It has also been very inspiring to work closely with so many talented people in the Sotra Link consortium. Going forward, we will perform detailed engineering and I look forward to the start of construction in the first quarter of 2023." 

Mark Bradshaw, Global Head of Infrastructure & Energy Capital at Macquarie Capital, said:  

"We are incredibly proud to be part of Sotra Link, and to support the development and delivery of such a significant infrastructure project in Norway as lead sponsor and equity investor. We understand that the communities of Vestland county have been waiting a long time for this vital road link, and with today’s financial close, we celebrate the next important milestone of this exciting project."

NPRA Project manager Arve Tjønn Rinde says that the tender process for The Sotra Connection has been very constructive. 

"All providers have contributed to developing the NPRA PPP model and actively contributed to proposing changes that have reduced risk and cost. We are particularly impressed by Sotra Link AS's ability to find good solutions in finance." 

NPRA will announce several large infrastructure projects in the years to come 

The NPRA are currently planning several large infrastructure projects that include fjord crossings with large bridge constructions.  

"Contracts for these projects are expected to be announced internationally in the years to come. Amongst them are Leirfjorden (810 m), Julsundet (2010 m), Langenuen (1700 m) and Bjørnafjorden (5500m). The floating bridge concept (5500 m) over Bjørnafjorden will be the world's longest floating bridge, says Director of Construction in the NPRA, Kjell Inge Davik."

About the project: 

  • In Prop. 1 S (2014-2015), it was signalled that the Government would ask the NPRA to start the planning of three projects to be carried out as PPP projects. The Rv. 555 Sotrasambandet - the Sotra Connection – was one of these.
  • The new Sotra Connection involves the construction of a 9.4 km four-lane road from the intersection with the Fv 562 at Storavatnet in Bergen to the intersection with the Fv 561 at Kolltveit in Øygarden Municipality, of which 4.6 km of the road runs in twin tube tunnels.   The project also includes a new four-lane bridge of about 900 metres, with a separate pedestrian and cycle path. The new road system will have separate lanes and ramps for public transport, and pedestrian and cycle facilities. New park-and-ride facilities and public transport terminals will be built at Straume and Storavatnet. Three smaller bridges are also included in the project. 

The working partnership that will be building the Sotra Connection consists of Spanish FCC (35%), Italian Webuild (35%) and South Korean SK ecoplant (30%), with assistance from the Norwegian consultancies of Multiconsult and Norconsult as well as Swiss PINI. Operation and maintenance will be carried out by the Hungarian company Intertoll.  

Contact

For further information, please contact The Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Public Relations:  
Phone: 90 26 81 43 Email:

 

Aktuelt for fylke(r): Vestland