Acciona wins 1.1-billion contract to build Australian tunnel

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A consortium led by Spanish construction giant Acciona has won a 1.1-billion-euro (1.44-billion-US-dollar) contract to build, maintain and operate a traffic tunnel in Brisbane in Australia, the company said Tuesday.

Acciona said it was its first infrastructure contract in Australia. Italy's Ghella and Australia's BMD Constructions are the two other firms that make up the winning consortium.

Spanish contruction firms, which include some of Europe's largest, have stepped up activities in their international segments to shield themselves from a domestic downturn following the collapse of a property bubble in 2007.

The Northern Link tunnel will connect Brisbane's western growth areas with the northern and eastern parts of the city.

Construction on the tunnel will start in December and it is expected to open to traffic in late 2014.

Acciona has been moving its focus from roads and construction to renewable energy. It is one of Spain's biggest companies with annual revenues of around 6.5 billion euros (8.5 billion dollars).

© 2010 AFP

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