E18 Highway, Finland
In 2011 Meridiam, in a consortium with two major Finnish construction and road maintenance companies, YIT and Destia, as well as Ilmarinen, a leading Finnish pension fund, was awarded the E18 Motorway Koskenkylä–Kotka project by the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA). The project consists of the design, construction, renovation, financing, maintenance and operation of a 53-km stretch of the E18 motorway between Koskenkylä and Kotka, in southern Finland.
E18 is part of the Trans-European road network, on a vital corridor connecting Scandinavia to Russia via Helsinki. The reconstruction of the road to motorway standards, in order to improve connectivity and safety and to promote economic growth in the region, formed a central plank of Finland’s transport strategy.
Meridiam, the main shareholder of the Project Company, initially held 60% of the invested equity. Following the acquisition of 60% of the subordinated debt of Destia and of 100% of YIT’s junior funds in 2014 and the acquisition of YIT’s equity share in 2016, Meridiam now holds 70.05% of the equity and 76.08% of the subordinated debt.
ESG/SDG Key Facts
Environmental protection activities have been implemented across the lifecycle of the investment:
• Recycled timber was used in the construction of the motorway, recycled materials have been used inside foam glass as part of the embankments, and recycled glass has been used for noise barriers;
• Wildlife corridors were taken into consideration to minimise the Project’s impact on animals, and the ecological pathways have been secured by five “green bridges” and several underpasses;
• Water areas and rivers are continuously monitored (water turbidity was intensively monitored during and after construction and all measures have proved to be of good quality);
• Power savings obtained by installing intelligent lighting control, ground heating, and solar panel; and
• A traffic safety campaign has been implemented since 2015 in cooperation with local municipalities.
The Project Company has started to investigate potential traffic safety initiatives as the local municipalities have launched a survey open to inhabitants with the purpose of mapping the traffic safety and hazards in the region. The final results are expected end of 2023.