The Italian Almanac

Strait of Messina

Italian News - October 14

The Impregilo-led consortium will be the general contractor for the final project and completion of the bridge over the Strait of Messina. The announcement was made by the Stretto di Messina company. The international competition for the selection of the general contractor to undertake the final project and completion of the bridge, with a value of 4.4 billion euros, was the biggest ever launched in Italy.

At the deadline, fixed for 25 May, the Stretto di Messina company had received two bids for assignation of the final executive project, the construction of the bridge over the strait of Messina, and completion of associated road and rail links. The two groups, led respectively by Astaldi S.p.A. and Impregilo S.p.A., comprised the leading Italian companies in the sector as well as numerous participants from outside Italy. The winning bid came from the group formed by the designated consortium principal Impregilo S.p.A. with consortium agents Sacyr S.A., Società Italiana Per Condotte D’Acqua S.p.A., Cooperativa Muratori Cementisti-C.M.C. of Ravenna, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries CO Ltd. and A.C.I. S.c.p.A - Consorzio Stabile.

The cost of the project, at 2002 values and inclusive of the bridge and road and rail links, is estimated at 4.6 billion euros. The overall financial requirement, taking into account inflation and financial charges, is six billion euros. No non-refundable grants from central government are envisaged. Forty per cent of the requirement, or 2.5 billion euros, will come from an increase in the Stretto di Messina company capital, which has already been deliberated. A first tranche, worth 300 million euros, was completed in 2003. The remaining 60% of the requirement will be obtained through project finance contracts, in several tranches to be stipulated on the international capital market. The loans will be paid back from cash flow generated by the bridge when in operation.