Norway’s Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has sealed the country’s largest-ever design, build, finance and maintain contract, valued at $2.2 billion, for a highway link between the city of Bergen and Sotra Island. It signed off on the financial agreement with the Australian-led team on March 16.

Covering 9.4 km, the new four-lane highway will include about 4.6 km of main tunnels and a 900-m-long suspension bridge, according to the administration. The consortium estimates the project’s construction value at more than $1.1 billion.

Led by Australia’s Macquarie Capital with a 70% stake, Sotra Link is responsible for delivering the project by 2027 and then maintaining it for 25 years. Sotra Link also includes South Korea’s SK ecoplant Co. Ltd., with 20% and Italy-based Webuild S.p.A. with 10%.

Sotra Link has already signed a design-build contract with a consortium of Webuild, Spain’s FCC Construcción S.A and SK ecoplant.

Sotra Link was selected as the preferred bidder for the contract last September, beating the ITIAS consortium of ITINERA S.p.A., IHI Corporation and ASTM S.p.A. 

“Sotra Link had the best bid price and received the most deductions for the added value they bring into the project,” according to NPRA’s project manager Arve Tjønn Rinde. 

When the deal closed financially on March 16, Webuild’s CEO Pietro Salini noted that it was “the biggest project of its kind to be awarded in Europe in 2021.”