FRENCH infrastructure manager RFF announced on July 20 that it had appointed financial advisors to assist with the development of PPP funding packages for three major investment projects (RG 11.05 p668).

Royal Bank of Canada’s Capital Markets division has been selected to put together the PPP for the Nîmes - Montpellier bypass, which will carry TGV Méditérranée services towards the Spanish border as well as conventional long-distance passenger and freight trains.

A different model, entitled Délégation du Service Public, has been adopted for the 302 km LGV Sud Europe Atlantique between Tours and Bordeaux. Caisses d’Epargne subsidiary IXIS Corporate & Investment Bank will offer separate elements of the project including financing, engineering and research, as well as supply and construction contracts, to a range of potential investors, companies, financial institutions and local associations.

RFF has selected Benjamin de Rothschild as independent financial adviser for the PPP concession to finance the modernisation of track-train communications systems and the introduction of GSM-R. UK firm Lovells will provide legal advice for all three projects.

  • Transport Minister Dominique Perben has confirmed the award of a DUP authorising the 121 km Angoulème - Bordeaux section of LGV SEA, which was published on July 19. Construction contracts are to be signed in mid-2008, with the line opening in 2013. Perben was also expected to announce on July 24 the start of bidding for a concession to build and operate the CDG Express rail link to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport (RG 4.05 p219). n