An End-To-End Solution
In late 2012, as part of the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), SNC-Lavalin, was awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain Ottawa’s Confederation Line, one of the largest public-private partnership (PPP) rail transit initiatives ever undertaken in North America. The project involves converting the existing Ottawa Bus Rapid Transit corridor into a full LRT system, in addition to widening and rehabilitating a four-kilometre section of Ontario’s Highway 417. The first phase of the project calls for RTG to build 12.5 km of guideway, 10 above-ground stations, three underground stations and a 2.5-km tunnel beneath the downtown core. Once built, RTG will provide maintenance services for the mass transit system for 30 years.
RTG developed a robust, deliverable and high value-for-money financing structure made up of short-term debt (consisting of a revolving senior credit facility), long-term debt and equity capital. This solutions-minded approach earned the Confederation Line the 2013 North American PPP Deal of the Year award in the Transport category by Project Financing Magazine. This award, and others the project has received, demonstrates industry-wide confidence in the sophisticated payment structure SNC-Lavalin created for the mega-project, including RTG’s ability to deliver a series of key financial and technical innovations.
Fast, Efficient and Green
The Confederation Line is a sustainable and cost-effective light rapid transit solution that will get passengers to their destinations more quickly, while significantly relieving existing traffic congestion in Canada’s capital, especially its bus transit network. According to a study conducted by the City of Ottawa*, the project will also make a positive environmental impact: transitioning from diesel-powered buses to an electric mode of transportation means burning 10 million fewer litres of fuel each year and, therefore, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 94,000 tonnes by 2031.
* A study conducted by the City of Ottawa entitled Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project, Phase 1 – Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station, The Benefits of Light Rail, page 9