The HSL-Zuid project is the largest Public Private Partnership contract ever awarded by the Dutch government and one of the largest high-speed railway projects in Europe to date.
The Infraspeed consortium was formed in February 1999 to compete for and execute large, complex infrastructure projects that will benefit from the superior combination of skills and expertise in managing rail projects. The consortium consists of BAM PPP, Fluor Infrastructure, Siemens Nederland, Innisfree PFI Continuation Fund and HSBC Infrastructure.
Infraspeed signed a contract in December 2001 with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management and the Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands for provision and maintenance of the superstructure of the new high-speed rail link between Amsterdam and the Belgian border (the HSL Zuid Line).
Siemens Nederland has successfully delivered the power supply system, the ERTMS signalling system, the GSM-R communication systems and the ancillary equipment. BAM Rail has successfully supplied the track system and the noise barriers and Fluor Infrastructure has successfully provided program management services.
In addition, for the 25 year period following completion of the superstructure the contract comprises the management and maintenance of the entire line (substructure and superstructure) - under authority of the rail manager ProRail.
In the contract between the government and Infraspeed as infrastructure provider, Infraspeed guarantee 99.46% availability of the line during the concession. The Dutch government pay Infraspeed an annual fee for making the HSL infrastructure available, which allows Infraspeed to cover its expenses and recover its investments. The sum paid depends on the actual availability: if Infraspeed fail to realise 99.46% availability, the fee is reduced. Because of this arrangement and the form of contract that was chosen - DBFM, i.e. Design, Build, Finance and Maintenance in a single contract - it was in Infraspeed's interest to think ahead in the design and construction phase, and make the maintenance after completion as optimal and efficient as possible.