Infrastructure

Connecting Norway industries through sustainable infrastructure

Macquarie Capital-led consortium Sotra Link to solve one of Norway’s most significant traffic bottlenecks and bring economic growth to the region.

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Transport
Location Norway

Opportunity

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) sought to strengthen the links between Norway’s second-largest city of Bergen and the adjacent island of Sotra by improving the quality of the highway infrastructure that connects these two parts of the western county of Vestland.

To increase capacity, shorten travel times, cut traffic congestion and reduce air pollution, the NPRA awarded multinational consortium Sotra Link a €2 billion public-private-partnership (PPP) contract to finance, design, build and operate a 9.4 kilometre, four-lane road link.  

The new road network includes a 4.6-kilometre road in twin-tube tunnels and a 900-metre, four-lane suspension bridge, infrastructure for public transport, and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle paths. Three further smaller bridges are also included in the project.  

The project is the largest and most complex of the Norwegian government’s planned road PPPs in its 2018-2029 National Transport Plan, and the largest infrastructure contract to date1, as well as the biggest PPP contract awarded in Europe in 20212.


Approach

Macquarie Capital formed the Sotra Link consortium with South Korean civil engineering company SK ecoplant and Italy’s Webuild, with FCC Construction leading the build and Intertoll Europe operating the completed project.

This brought together extensive experience in implementing PPP contracts and the construction of suspension bridges and tunnels. It delivered a competitive bid that balanced timeline and budget with a focus on sustainability and traffic safety. Sotra Link will operate and maintain the development for 25 years. 

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.”

Christopher M. Bjerke
Chief Executive Officer, Sotra Link

Outcome

The state-of-the-art bridge and tunnel system will reduce travel time for the community, improve traffic safety and streamline industry connections to urban centres and key road, rail and air and sea links.

The Sotra Connection project is scheduled to open to traffic in 2027, marking another critical piece of infrastructure for the future enabled by Macquarie Capital.

1,000+

jobs created

20 minutes

travel time saved

14km

of pedestrian & bicycle paths

12.5km

of tunnels

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 the 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 – and much-needed – project.”

Mark Bradshaw
Global Head of Infrastructure & Energy Capital, Macquarie Capital

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