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Business news
Britain's Ј3bn Lead on Road to Moscow
03.28.2005 17:58

Ernst & Young BRITAIN is to be the driving force in helping the Russian government to build a 3.3bn ten-lane toll motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg.

After a tough year-long competition, a team of project finance experts from accountancy giant Ernst & Young has been given the job of leading a consortium to build Russia's first toll motorway.

Work on the 440-mile road is expected to start next year. A study on how the project will be managed is expected to be sent to the Russian Ministry of Transport by Christmas.

Motorists are likely to pay only on the sections close to Moscow and St Petersburg. The bulk of the motorway, through hundreds of miles of wilderness, is expected to be toll-free.

Ernst & Young will guide the Russians through their first public private partnership (PPP) project. If this is successful, Ernst & Young is confident that it will be in a good position to lead similar major projects.

The consultancy is holding talks with Russian officials about huge railway renewal deals, which could also be financed through PPP. However, Ernst & Young would not be drawn on whether these would include the famous Trans-Siberian Express railway service.

The motorway project is being led by Pearse Rutledge, former head of project finance at HSBC, who now heads Ernst & Young's international infrastructure team.

'This is the first toll road in Russia under PPP,' he said. 'As such, it represents a huge challenge for the future. Russia is a vast country with a huge rail network and we are in talks about similar projects.'

Infrastructure leadership is now a 40m growing business for Ernst & Young, which has taken part in similar projects in Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Croatia.

News source: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk
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