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N33 Assen-Zuidbroek highway P3, Netherlands

Mott MacDonald was retained as lenders’ technical advisor to Poort van Noord on the €120 million N33 Assen-Zuidbroek P3 project near Groningen in the Netherlands.

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Opportunity

The N33 Assen-Zuidbroek project will improve traffic flow in the region and increase road safety on the highway.

The project widens 24 miles (38 kilometers) of the N33 from single to dual carriageway. It includes 27 structures, including the construction of a movable bridge over the Winschoterdiep canal. The N33/A7 junction will be remodeled to a cloverleaf interchange.

The N33 project is the first project where a pension fund had 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 involved required skillful conciliation.

Solution

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.

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 helped us understand the requirements of lenders and appreciate the needs of sponsors for a practical and open approach.

Outcome

Mott MacDonald’s due diligence review gave the pension fund significant confidence to enable them to fund the project.

Our previous experience with the project sponsors enabled rapid development of a close working relationship. We anticipated our clients' need to highlight concerns and information requirements early, 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 carried 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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