The Apion Kleos consortium led by VINCI (36%) is the preferred bidder for Greece's biggest highway concession contract between Athens, Corinth, Patras, Pyrgos and Tsakona, in southwest Peloponnese. VINCI's partners are its affiliates VINCI Concessions and VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Hochtief, and Greek companies Elleniki Technodomiki, Aktor, J&P-Avax, and Athina. The project consists in the design, building, financing and operation (DBFO) of 365 kilometres, most of it along the Peloponnese's northern and western coast. The highway will run through the Rion-Antirion bridge, built and operated by VINCI.The project involves the handover of the operation of the highway from Elefsina, west of Athens, to Corinth (64 km) and the Patras ring road (18 km), and the reconstruction and rerouting of national roads into highway on the Corinth-Patras section (120 km). This stretch from Corinth to Patras includes tunnels totalling 17 km, 61 bridges and 13 flyovers. The 30-year concession contract also requires 163 km of new construction between Patras and Tsakona. Most of the project will be new highway (283.7 km) and the rest (81 km) improvements to the existing infrastructure. It is to have two or three lanes in each direction, allowing speeds of up to 120 km throughout. The EUR2.1 billion highway is to be delivered over six years. Visit www.vinci.com 07/07.The Apion Kleos consortium, led by VINCI with 36%, signed in end July the contract with the Greek government for the Athens-Tsakona motorway, the country's biggest motorway concession project. The contract has yet to be ratified by the Greek parliament. The expected start of the concession is April 2008. The other members of the consortium are Hochtief of Germany (25%) and three Greek companies, namely Elliniki Technodomiki-Aktor (18%), J&P-Avax (18%) and Athena (3%). The project calls for the financing, design, construction and/or repair of 365 km of toll motorway between Athens and Tsakona in the southwest of the Peloponnese, via Corinth and Patras. This breaks down into 82 km of existing motorway, 120 km to repair and widen, and 163 km to build. The project also calls for operating the motorway for 30 years. Visit www.vinci.com, www.hochtief-construction.de, www.etae.gr and www.jp-avax.grThe project includes nine tunnels: Xylokastro (163 m /158 m), Derveni (655 m / 645 m), Mavra Litharia (1,224 m / 1,225 m), Akrata (839 m / 305 m), Platanos (1,932 m / 1,605 m), Panagopoula (five tunnels of 338 m, 132 m, 556 m, 4,018 m and 3,182 m), Aghios Georgios (386 m / 352 m), Koliri (348 m / 296 m) and Elia (238 m / 187 m). The tunnels of less than 600 metres will be 12.75 m wide at their base and 7.5 m high to the crown. The tunnels of more than 600 metres will be 10.25 m wide at the base and 7 m high to the crown. Drilling and blasting will be used as per the NATM principles. Rock haulage will be done by trucks. Click here for more info on the tunnels. Work is scheduled to commence in September 2008. The estimated cost of the tunnels amounts to EUR203 million for civil works and EUR46 million for E&M equipment (value 2006, design and ground investigation not included). 46/07.Olympia Odos, the concession company led by VINCI Concessions (36%), in partnership with Hochtief PPP Solutions (25%) and three Greek construction companies, Aktor Concessions (18%), J&P-Avax (18%) and Athena (3%), has just completed with a consortium of 19 banks the financing arrangements for the concession contract for the Athens-Corinth-Patras-Tsakona motorway, the largest ever won by VINCI outside France. This financing agreement, in addition to the equity contributions of the partners in Olympia Odos and a subsidy from the Greek government, amounts to EUR1.6 billion, of which EUR990 million is senior debt with a 13-year maturity and EUR200 million is a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The project involves the financing, construction and repair, as well as the operation over 30 years, of 365 kilometres of toll motorways linking Athens to Tsakona in the southwest of the Peloponnese, via Corinth and Patras. Of the total, 82 kilometres already exist, 120 kilometres need to be renovated and widened, and 163 kilometres of new motorway will be built over a period of six years. They include the construction of 19 kilometres of tunnels. The construction will be carried out by a consortium consisting, in particular, of VINCI Construction Grands Projets and its German and Greek partners. The total cost of the project is EUR2.8 billion. The concession came into force on 4th August, 2008. Click gr/33. 34-35/08.