Liège tram project back on track

PwC acts as financial advisor to the Walloon Regional Transport Company in the first major public-private partnership project ever closed in Wallonia.

Laying down the tracks

It all began a decade ago, when the Walloon Region asked the Walloon Regional Transport Company (OTW) to develop a light rail transit (tram) line serving the Liège area between Sclessin and Coronmeuse. In consortium with legal advisor Stibbe, PwC acted as financial advisor to help with the tender strategy for the project and to find and secure the best possible value for the creation of the infrastructure.

We’ve been assisting the OTW with defining a general framework and its financial aspects from a public-private partnership (PPP) perspective since 2009.

Derailed

An ongoing concern throughout the process was ensuring that the project would be classified as off-(government) balance sheet. Due to the risks and rewards being insufficiently transferred to the patner, Eurostat concluded that the infrastructure was in fact on-(government) balance sheet and the project was subsequently aborted.

Back on track

In response to the public transportation system approaching saturation, the OTW Board of Directors decided to relaunch the procedure in March 2016. Based on new official PPP guidelines, we helped draft a new PPP contract that was ultimately deemed off-(government) balance sheet by Eurostat.

The light rail transit project has been back on track ever since and is poised to be the first PPP to see the light in Wallonia since 2015. 

PwC gaining momentum

The OTW Liège tram project reinforces our proven track record in providing top-notch PPP services to both the public and private sectors. As the financial advisor on the last two PPPs in Wallonia, PwC is the undisputed champion in the field.

This success will enable the regional public authorities to initiate several PPPs in the near future.

Full speed ahead

Slated to open in the second half of 2022, the Liège tram will be a veritable transportation hub, serving 21 stations over 11.7 km. The long-awaited line will ease pressure on the saturated bus network while providing passengers with a rapid, economical and eco-friendly transportation alternative.

Contact us

Serge Loumaye

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 2710 9791

Charlotte Busine

Senior Manager, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 02 710 4183

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