$6bn of construction contracts signed for Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project
Melbourne’s highly-anticipated $11bn metro infrastructure project has reached a major milestone after $6bn of tunnelling and station building contracts were awarded to a consortium of companies.
The Cross Yarra Partnership, consisting of Leandlease, John Holland, Capella Capital and Bouygues, will deliver the largest chunk of the work on what is the city’s most significant transport project of all time.
Craig Laslett, Lendlease CEO Engineering and Services, said: “A world-class project of this scale will create unprecedented opportunities for local employment and procurement, and we look forward to working with government, project stakeholders and the community to bring this project to life.”
- Melbourne awards Metro Trains and KDR $7bn contract to operate train and tram networks
- John Holland wins early stage Melbourne Metro work
- Contracts awarded for Melbourne’s $5.5bn West Gate Tunnel Project, opens in 2022
The consortium will deliver twin 9km tunnels and five new underground stations at North Melbourne (Arden), Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac. Lendlease also has rights to deliver the over-site development at Town Hall Station.
Maintenance is also included in the deal, which is set to last for around 25 years. Early works on the project have already begun, with the new system set to open in 2026.
Up to six tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are set to be used during construction, each up to 100m long and weighing more than 1,000 tonnes.
In preparation for this significant work, three shafts will be excavated in the CBD – at Franklin Street and A'Beckett Street near Melbourne Central station, and at City Square near Flinders Street Station.
The shafts will be up to 11 storeys deep and will enable the roadheaders to be lowered into the ground to begin excavating around 2mn cubic metres of soil and rock – enough to fill 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The final contract has also been signed with CPB Contractors and Bombardier Transportation to start work on the roll-out of high-capacity signalling on the Metro Tunnel. The $1.1bn Rail Systems Alliance will allow trains to safely run closer together, meaning they can run more often – creating a turn-up-and-go train network for Melbourne.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.