Logistics News

Transurban poised to bid for WestConnex

Awaits signal from Berejiklian government on project, looks for opportunities in the US

 

Calling it a “transformational” transport project that offers “tremendous value”, Transurban seems to be preparing to make a bid for Sydney’s WestConnex motorway if the NSW government opts to go ahead with the sale.

The statement comes as the company reported 9 per cent increase in revenue from Sydney roads, with overall profit up 42 per cent to $88 million.

Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton says the company sees WestConnex as a “mini network” of assets as opposed to a single asset, which would make it cheaper to operate than a single entity.

“It’s more like a business in its own right as opposed to maybe just one single standalone asset,” he says.

Despite the creation of a new portfolio, minister for WestConnex, and the appointment of Stuart Ayers to the new role, there has been no official statement on whether the state government intends to sell the project.

There is also no assurance on whether the $16.8 billion project will be sold in its entirety or partially.

“It’s obviously a fairly big project, fairly complicated and depending on how they sell it, might involve us having partners,” he says.

However, the company remains confident that it might have what it takes to secure the deal if the NSW government goes ahead with the sale.

“If we look at the long-term population growth, or even the medium-term population growth for Sydney, it needs this tremendous investment in infrastructure.

“I am sure there will be lots of interest but we believe we have the opportunity to put the most value on the table.”

Transurban is also planning to tap into infrastructure growth in the United States, albeit at a pace slower than in Australia.

Charlton says newly-elected US president Donald Trump’s administration should follow Australia’s example to promote asset recycling initiatives using additional loan policies to promote infrastructure growth.

The company currently runs two expressways in the Greater Washington Area.

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