PRAECO selected for HQ JOC project

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Praeco Pty Limited, a consortium established by Leighton Contractors and ABN AMRO, has been announced as the preferred contractor to design, construct, operate and maintain the new Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) project for the Australian Defence Force.

The $300 million HQJOC project, located near Bungendore NSW, about 20km east of Canberra, will provide Defence with its first fully-integrated command and control headquarters. It is due for completion by 2008 and is the Australian government's first large-scale Public Private Partnership (PPP, also sometimes referred to as Private Finance Initiative, PFI) program.

Spotless Services Australia will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the facility during the 30 year concession period.

Praeco CEO, Peter Hicks, said the combination of Leighton Contractors and ABN AMRO would provide the Defence Force with financial strength, reliability and certainty of successful project delivery.

Erwin Elstermann, ABN AMRO Executive Director of Structured Finance said: "This is a monumental transaction for ABN AMRO in Australia and a strong indication of the Commonwealth Government's commitment to engaging the private sector for the delivery of specialist infrastructure."

The project includes the design and construction of a headquarters building and supporting and supporting buildings and infrastructure. It will incorporate significant security checkpoints and large areas of open space.

John Daubney, managing director of architects Rice Daubney, said: "The design is a ... complex of buildings with two major building zones consisting of an Operations Command Building and separate Military and Support Buildings. The main Operations Command Building will provide a high security and energy efficient office environment for the Military. The design will allow a high degree of flexibility and growth potential to accommodate potential future needs for the users. The Military Support Buildings will consolidate all messes, recreational, maintenance and facilities support requirements into one complex enabling the Headquarters complex to be substantially self-sustainable on this remote site."
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