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23 August 2017

Financing completed on France’s largest optical fibre PPP contract

The THD Grand Est public-private partnership (PPP) project, France’s biggest optical fibre PPP contract to date and one of the largest contracts of its kind in Europe, has successfully reached financial close for private financing of €900 million. Mott MacDonald acted as lenders’ technical advisor to NGE and Altitude Infrastructure during the scheme’s financing stage and will now provide construction monitoring services in an ongoing role.

Aimed at introducing very high-speed fibre internet connectivity, THD Grand Est will connect approximately one million households and businesses across over 3,600 cities. Construction of the project is due to be completed in 2022, with a total term of 35 years.

During financing, Mott MacDonald analysed the project risk profile and advised the lenders on potential technical challenges in areas such as contract documentation, design and construction schedule and operation. The consultancy will now monitor construction to verify the scheme is being delivered within its agreed schedule and that drawdowns are made according to the works contracts.

Antoine Bonnafous, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “By rapidly mobilising our team of experts we were able to provide the lenders with the assurances they needed to secure financing for this project in less than 20 days, which is very quick compared to industry standards.”

“Our work on this project has enabled us to strengthen our portfolio and expertise in high-speed optical fibre broadband networks, which is good news as a number of projects in this sector are due to be released across Europe over the next few years,” Antoine added.

Mott MacDonald also acted as lenders’ technical advisor on the THD Alsace PPP scheme, which will connect a minimum of 370,000 households and businesses to very high-speed internet in more than 700 cities.

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