EPICo part of largest DBFM project in Belgium

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Contract documents were signed with which De Werkvennootschap on behalf of the Flemish government to start the cooperation with BRAVO4, consisting of BESIX, EPICo, I4B, RID PPP (Rebel and Abrdn) and Stadsbader for the reconstruction of the R4 East and West in the north of Ghent, the largest DBFM project in Belgium.

The Flemish Government approved the proposed award decision including the DBFM agreement between the two parties on March 22, 2024. From now on, BRAVO4 is responsible for the reconstruction of the R4 East and West north of Ghent through a DBFM formula: the design (Design), construction (Build), financing (Finance) and maintenance for 30 years (Maintain) are entrusted to BRAVO4 in an integrated manner.

Together for a safer port area

This Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is different from a traditional tender. The consortium itself is responsible for financing the project and will receive a periodic availability payment from the Flemish government for thirty years after the construction phase. This gives the government the opportunity to select a party on more qualitative criteria, such as its own contribution to the designs, execution techniques, life-cycle approach, mitigation measures and environmental management. The private market is also being fully called upon to contribute their expertise to this project.

Partnership with BRAVO4

In the summer of 2021, the consortium BRAVO4 was identified as the preferred bidder. They submitted a bid with the best value for money to perform the DBFM contract. In 2022, BRAVO4 refined the basic designs. For those refined plans, BRAVO4 has since obtained final and executable environmental permits so that the DBFM contract was recently awarded and the DBFM agreement could now be concluded, together with the financing agreements (contract close and financial close). The financing was arranged through a Debt Funding Competition. A syndicate of Belgian and international banks and insurers are responsible for financing the project.

Environment, people and nature connected

The project will make traffic on the R4 smoother and safer, and the surrounding neighborhoods quieter and more accessible. In the future, the number of slip roads and motorized traffic will be reduced to the most important intersections. New bridges, tunnels and underpasses will allow local traffic to pass under or over the R4. This allows traffic to flow more smoothly and reduces the risk of dangerous situations between road users. The connection between residential areas on either side of the R4 will also become much safer. The bridges and tunnels will be part of the public space for many years. That is why an attractive and functional design has been chosen that blends into the environment.