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Palisade Announces Investment in Sydney’s North West Rail Link PPP Project

September 2014

Palisade Investment Partners (Palisade) has announced that it has completed an investment in Northwest Rapid Transit. The New South Wales Government formally awarded Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium (NRT) the operations contract to deliver Australia’s largest public transport project, Sydney’s North West Rail Link.

The A$3.7 billion Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract is the largest of the three delivery contracts for the North West Rail Link.

Palisade will invest in and manage a 20% stake in the Project on behalf of Palisade’s Australian Social Infrastructure Fund and a direct investment mandate client. The terms of the transaction remain confidential.

North West Rail

The North West Rail Link (NWRL) is Australia’s first fully automated rapid transit network. Following construction completion, NRT will be contracted for a 15 year operating period to deliver a clean, safe and high performing service for the people of north west Sydney.

When it commences in the first half of 2019, NRT will operate 15 trains per hour during peak periods; a train every 4 minutes. NRT’s rapid transit fleet will be delivered by international train manufacturer Alstom. A world leading, safe and reliable train, Alstom’s Metropolis serves many of the great global cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona and Singapore.

The Chairman of the NRT Consortium, Mr Lucio Di Bartolomeo said that, as Australia’s first ‘turn up and go’ rapid transit network, NRT will deliver a level of service and safety never before seen in Australian public transport.

“The streamlined design of the rapid transit network will provide new standards in passenger access and comfort including the latest way-finding aids for real time travel information”, Mr Di Bartolomeo said.

The Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium includes Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation – who will operate and maintain the service in a joint venture with John Holland and UGL Rail Services; John Holland, Leighton Contractors, MTR and UGL Rail Services – will form a four way joint venture to deliver the construction; and Plenary Group – the financial sponsor and capital arranger.

Palisade’s Managing Director Roger Lloyd said that Palisade is excited to be involved in the delivery of such a fundamental piece of infrastructure to North West Sydney.

“By getting involved early in NRT’s Project tender, Palisade has been able to fully understand the project construction task ahead and so deliver to investors the opportunity for capital growth while maintaining the characteristic long term stable returns with which PPP projects are associated”, Mr Lloyd said.

The North West Rail Link is the 8th asset in Palisade’s social infrastructure portfolio. The portfolio has provided of 16.9% p.a. since inception in 2011, including 7.4% p.a. income.