Nimes-Montpellier HSR – France
The Contournement Nîmes Montpellier (CNM) High Speed Link, France is the third high-speed link project procured under a PPP scheme in France.
Under the project agreement, the successful Meridiam-led consortium is currently undertaking the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a new track of 80 km for passenger and freight high-speed trains. The concession contract will run for 25 years with remuneration through an availability payment scheme, subject to performance deductions and is contracted with Reseau Ferré de France (RFF).
The project was financed through a combination of a long term senior debt facility and junior funds. While with WestLB, Victoria Taylor analysed this project to secure credit approval to lend to the transaction. The financing structure for this project (including low-cost European Investment Bank loans paired with French government debt repayment guarantees) is unique to France but includes a number of innovations that could be applied in the US as well.