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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – The Western Roads Upgrade has won Best Financial Structure and Best Road/Bridge/Tunnel Project at the second annual PPP Awards.

The awards, run by international industry publication Partnerships Bulletin, recognise and reward outstanding achievement in public-private partnerships across Asia Pacific.

The winners were presented at a black-tie ceremony in Sydney overnight.

Netflow Western Roads Upgrade board member and Plenary Managing Director of Origination Damien Augustinus said the recognition demonstrates the quality outcomes that can be achieved by taking a true partnership approach with governments.

“This project is a great example of the innovative solutions we can achieve in project financing and procurement, and we thank our partner in the Victorian Government for its commitment to delivering such a standout project with myriad benefits to the community,” Mr Augustinus said.

“We look forward to continuing to offer unique solutions on other major road infrastructure projects as the opportunities arise.”

The judges considered the project to be a ‘trailblazer’ that can be replicated in other jurisdictions and sectors, making it an important landmark for the PPP industry both in Australia and around the world.

They also praised the focus on the local community and sustaining local jobs as part of the project’s workforce development initiatives.

The judges welcomed the fact the unique finance package arranged by Plenary marked Australia’s first greenfield bond financing for a PPP since the GFC, and also that it is replicable, which means it acts as an exemplar for others to follow.

The $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade project is the State of Victoria’s largest single investment in arterial roads to date, comprising high-priority road upgrades with a comprehensive 20-year maintenance program covering a more than 260-kilometre road network.

The Netflow consortium – comprising Cintra and Plenary Group as joint project sponsors and joint SPV managers, Plenary as financial arranger, WBHO Infrastructure as design and construction lead; and Ventia as services contractor – is contracted by the Victorian Government to design, build, finance, and maintain the project for 20 years following the completion of the capital works.

The recognition continues for the Western Roads Upgrade in 2018 having won the Financial Excellence award at the 2018 National Infrastructure Awards earlier this year.