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Ground level view of empty road heading towards horizon

N33 Assen-Zuidbroek highway PPP, Netherlands

Mott MacDonald has been retained as lenders’ technical advisor to Poort van Noord on the €120M N33 Assen-Zuidbroek PPP project near Groningen in the Netherlands.

View showing stretch of N33 in the snow
PPP infrastructure innovation
PPP infrastructure innovation The N33 project involves the world’s first use of inflation-linked debt financing for an infrastructure scheme.

Poort van Noord, a special purpose company formed by BAM PPP and pension fund PGGM Infrastructure Cooperation UA, commissioned us to conduct technical due diligence on behalf of the lenders.


The N33 project is the first instance where a pension fund has a role in the senior debt of an infrastructure project in the Netherlands. The Dutch government aims to develop a system for attracting pension funds as financiers for future infrastructure projects. Differing requirements and experience in the area of debt financing between the pension funds and the commercial banks that are also involved required skillful conciliation.

Key facts

  • The project, which will improve traffic flow in the region and increase road safety on the highway.

  • The scheme widens 38km of the N33 from single to dual carriageway. It includes 27 structures including the construction of a movable bridge over the Winschoterdiep. The N33/A7 junction will be remodelled to a cloverleaf interchange. The contracting authority is the Dutch highways and water authority Rijkswaterstaat.


Mott MacDonald’s due diligence review gave the pension fund significant confidence to enable them to fund the project. We dealt with the lenders’ differing needs by being flexible and responsive, and by using our extensive communication skills. Our experience in public private partnership procurement means we understand the requirements of lenders and appreciate the needs of sponsors for a practical and open approach.

Our previous experience with the project sponsors enabled rapid development of a close working relationship. We anticipated their needs for the early highlighting of concerns or requirements for information, and we aligned this with our understanding of the lenders’ funding issues and their need to satisfy the concerns of their credit communities.

After completing due diligence of Poort van Noord’s technical bid documents, we're carrying out construction and operations monitoring during the project's remaining phases. Once completed Poort van Noord will oversee the maintenance of the N33 highway for 20 years.

Our due diligence review gave the pension fund significant confidence to enable them to fund the project.

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