INFRASTRUCTURE Portugal (IP) has announced plans to let a series of public-private partnership (PPP) contracts to build the first section of the Lisbon - Porto high-speed line from January 2024.

Presenting the project, IP deputy CEO, Mr Carlos Fernandes, said that the first stage of the high-speed line will be divided into three sections: Porto - Oiã, Oiã - Soure and Soure - Carregado. Each will be built under a separate PPP.

Fernandes added that the second PPP should be launched “three or four months after” the first. A concession contract for design, construction, maintenance, and financing will be signed for each of the PPPs.

The Environmental Impact Statement for the Porto - Oiã section is due to be completed in August, and will be followed by the statement for the Oiã - Soure section in September or October, after which the tenders will be launched.

Before launching each tender, IP plans to publish a prior information notice in the Official Journal of the European Union to provide more detail on the project.

At an estimated cost of €4.5bn, the Lisbon - Porto high-speed line will connect the two cities in 1h 15min, also serving Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro, and Vila Nova de Gaia.

Construction work on the Porto - Soure section is scheduled to be undertaken between 2024 and 2028, while the Soure - Carregado section will be built between 2026 and 2030.

An in-depth feature on the Lisbon - Porto high-speed line appeared in the June 2023 edition of IRJ. Online subscribers can read it here.