The Vinci-led concession company building the Athens-Tsakona motorway, which involves a number of “major” tunnels, has closed the financing of the scheme.

A total of 19km of tunnels are to be constructed in the 30-year concession to finance, build and maintain 365km of road, almost 50% of which will be new construction over six years, it was announced.

T&TI was previously told that there would be at least 16km of major tunnels, classed as more than 500m long individual tubes. Seven tunnels are to be constructed some of which will be twin tubes. In total, 10 tubes are to be built.

The concession has been awarded to the Olympia Odos group, previously called Apion Kleos. Olympia Odos completed the financing for the scheme with a consortium of 19 banks. The debt financing totals US$2.32bn and includes US$290M from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The balance of funds for the US$4bn scheme comes from equity investment by the concession partners plus a subsidy from the Government of Greece. The cost estimate for the project was given last year as US$2.8bn (mid-07 prices). The concession officially came into force last month.

The Olympia Odos group includes Hochtief PPP Solutions and three Greek firms – J&P-Avax, Athena and Aktor Concessions, a unit of Elliniki Technodmiki.

The actual works are to be undertaken by a JV led by Vinci Construction Grands Projets.