Controversial NSW infrastructure deal succeeds with two firms’ help

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Two top firms were involved the success of a critical and controversial New South Wales infrastructure deal.

Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) acted for Veolia Water Australia and Infrastructure Capital Group in their successful bid to build, finance, and operate a water treatment plant for the Springvale Mine and Mt Piper Power Station in Lithgow. Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) acted for Centennial Coal, EnergyAustralia, and Springvale SK Kores, which procured the plant and associated pipeline to serve the projects. The deal achieved financial close last week.

The project will improve the environmental impact of the mine and is needed for the power station, which has the capacity to supply up to 15% of the whole state’s electricity demand. The $200m project was under threat of a court-ordered closure, but the NSW government enacted legislation to keep the project progressing. The plant and pipeline allow for the treatment of water discharged from the mine, recirculating it for use, and prevent mine water being released into Coxs River, which supplies Sydney’s drinking water catchment.

G+T fielded lawyers from multiple practices to help in project documents, construction arrangements, project financing, due diligence, insurance arrangements, and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) requirements.

Partner Alexander Danne led the G+T team, along with partners from a range of practice groups, including Amanda Hempel, Deborah Johns, Alex Kauye and Andrew Floro. The team also included senior construction counsel Penny Swain, special counsel Ben Fuller, and lawyers Daniel Yim, Sachini Mandawala, Colby List, Lindsay Crawford, James Marburg, Andrew Kourpanidis, Nick Madders, Alastair McDonald, Julia Scott, Jo Bayes, Rob Sinni, Ghassan Kassisieh, and Tanja Mikulic.

The HSF team acted on the competitive procurement of the project, assessment of tenders, project documents, environmental issues, planning, construction and financing arrangements.

Its cross-practice team was led by partners Andrew Griffiths, Will Oxby, Nick Cowie, Nick Baker, and Jon Evans.

A separate HSF team acted for EnergyAustralia on planning and Centennial Coal on intra-customer arrangements. The planning team was led by partner Peter Briggs, while the intra-customer arrangements were led by partner Matt Fitzgerald.

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