Ireland's N17/N18 expected to close by year end

The N17/N18 Gort-Tuam PPP in Ireland is expected to reach financial close by the end of the year.

Direct Route Consortium expects to close the financing on the PPP before the end of the year due to strong commercial bank support. The total debt required is about €300m with a debt-to-equity ratio of around 90:10. 

Construction of a 57-km motorway - part of the so-called Atlantic Corridor on the west coast - will take thousands of vehicles out of Clarinbridge, Claregalway and Tuam each day. There will be no tolls on the route. Instead the state will pay the private contractors an annuity over 25 years. It is expected the motorway will take up to three years to complete at a cost of €550m. 

The project had been in the pipeline but stalled in 2010 when the bidders first selected as the private contractor were unable to secure funding to carry out the work, due to the economic downturn. The contract was subsequently awarded to Direct Route - a group made up of several contractors including Lagan, Roadbridge and Sisk.