RUEIL MALMAISON CEDEX, 02-Mar-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The new South Europe Atlantic high-speed line (SEA HSL), which will put Bordeaux within 2 hours of Paris starting this July, was inaugurated on February 28th, 2017 by French President François Hollande, in the presence of VINCI Chairman and CEO Xavier Huillard, VINCI Concessions CEO Nicolas Notebaert, VINCI Railways Chairman Christophe Pélissié du Rausas, and LISEA CEO Laurent Cavrois.
The new line was built and will be operated and maintained until 2061 under a concession contract between SCNF Réseau and LISEA, in which VINCI Concessions holds a 33.4% stake. The inauguration is a key milestone for VINCI Concessions: after managing this programme and delivering Europe’s largest rail works endeavour ahead of schedule, on budget and in keeping with the most stringent environmental requirements, the teams are preparing apply the same uncompromising standards to the line’s maintenance and operation. With this new phase, VINCI Concessions will become the first private sector player to manage operations on a high-speed line in France, via its 70% interest in MESEA, the company operating and maintaining the line.
To succeed in this next phase, VINCI Concessions will be able to rely on the VINCI Group’s holistic model and its dual construction and concession approach, which for example involved factoring operation and maintenance requirements into the early design phase. The teams will also be able to count on VINCI Concessions’ cutting-edge experience operating world-class mobility infrastructure around the globe. And, as the SEA HSL was developed under a PPP, it blends beautifully into the Group’s vision: it tackles the considerable challenges in regional development by rallying public and private sector players and thereby harnessing unprecedented energy.
The inauguration ceremony took place in Charente, in Villognon, a symbolically meaningful location for this new phase in the project: it was one of the two large bases during the construction phase and will henceforth be used as the main base for line maintenance.