A total of Euros 7.8bn has been raised to fund construction, which will cost Euros 6.2bn, and other aspects of the project. The public sector comprising the French government, local authorities, and the European Union, will provide Euros 3bn of funding, and RFF will fund another Euros 1bn.

The concessionaire is Lisea which is led by Vinci with a 33.4% holding. The other shareholders are Caisee des Dépôts/CDC Infrastructure (25.4%), Sojas (22%), and AXA Private Equity (19.2%). Lisea is funding the remaining Euros 3.8bn as follows: Euros 772m from commercial banks and the European Investment Bank (EIB), Euros 1.06bn in bank debt guaranteed by the state, Euros 612m in non-guaranteed bank debt, Euros 757m in savings funds managed by Caisee des Dépôts and backed by RFF, Euros 400m of state-guaranteed credit from the EIB and a further Euros 200m of non-guaranteed EIB credit.

In addition, RFF will invest a further Euros 1bn to adapt existing systems such as signalling and power supply, and expand the capacity of Bordeaux station.

Lisea has entrusted construction to the Cosea consortium led by Vinci and including Arcadis and Egis Rail. Design work and construction will take six years one month.

The Sud-Europe Atlantique (SEA) line will have 19 viaducts, seven covered sections and 38km of links to the existing network. It will form an extension to the existing TGV Atlantique from Paris to Tours. When SEA opens in 2017 it will cut the Paris - Bordeaux journey time from 3h 5min today to 2h 5min.