In December 2014 SWRT awarded MobiLiège, a consortium of Alstom, BAM PPP PGGM and DG Infra, a contract to finance, design, build and maintain the 12.5km line from Standard Liège stadium in the west to Liège-Guillemins station and Coronmeuse in the city centre, with a short branch crossing the river Meuse to serve Bressoux station.
However in early 2015 the European Union statistics office Eurostat raised concerns over the structure of the PPP concession and work on the project was suspended. Eurostat decreed that the €380m investment in the project should be classified as public funding and placed immediately on the government’s balance sheet. The Wallonian government rejected this and opted to retender the concession with a revised structure, cancelling its contract with MobiLiège.
By this time €15.4m had been spent on studies, €3.3m on land acquisition and €14.3m on relocation of utilities.
In March the government announced it would launch a new tender for the project and on October 12 confirmed that MobiLiège had once again been shortlisted alongside two other consortia: CAF-Colas-DIF, and Škoda-Vinci-CFE-Meridiam.
Eurostat is expected to approve the revised concession structure by the end of the year, and if it is given the go-ahead, SWRT will issue invitations to bid to the shortlisted consortia in early 2017. The contract is likely to be finalised in early 2018.