Spain consortium to build Ottawa metro: report

A consortium led by Spain's ACS Infrastructure and that includes engineering firm SNC-Lavalin will be presented Wednesday as the preferred choice to build a subway in Canada's capital, local media said.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is expected to make the announcement at the unveiling of a mock-up of the Can$2.1-billion light rail project -- the largest project in the capital's history, the daily Ottawa Citizen and public broadcaster CBC said, citing unnamed sources.

Officials would not confirm the news.

The so-called Rideau Transit Group led by ACS also includes EllisDon Corp., Veolia Transportation, Dragados, local firm BBB Architects, Thurber Engineering and several other companies.

If the reports are accurate, the consortium beat out two other finalists headed by Bouygues Travaux Publics S.A., the French company that built the tunnel under the English Channel, and Vinci Concessions, the lead on a massive new bridge connecting Canada's Prince Edward Island province with the mainland.

Bouygues Travaux Publics partnered with German train maker Siemens for the bid while Vinci Concessions enlisted Canada's Bombardier.

The winning bid does not include a train supplier, so Siemens or Bombardier could still join as a partner or a vendor.

Siemens had been awarded a previous contract to build Ottawa's light rail transit system but it was nixed when a new mayor took over at city hall in 2006.

The new pick must still be approved by city council later this month.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013.

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