UPDATE 2-Canada's Caisse to invest C$3 bln in Montreal rail network

Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:30pm EDT
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(Adds comments by Caisse chief executive and Quebec government spokeswoman)

By Allison Lampert and Matt Scuffham

MONTREAL/TORONTO April 22 (Reuters) - Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec said on Friday that it would invest C$3 billion ($2.37 billion) in a new public transport network in Montreal, the third-largest of its kind in the world.

The network will link downtown Montreal with several suburbs and Montreal's airport in a 67 km (41.6 miles) light rail transit system comprising 24 stations which will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week. The automated system would be the largest after Dubai's at 80 km, and Vancouver's at 68 km.

The C$5.5 billion project, a public-private partnership, would require C$2.5 billion from the province of Quebec and Canada. A spokeswoman for Quebec Transportation Minister Jacques Daoust said Friday the province would invest in the project. A Canadian government spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Quebec's transport minister told Radio Canada that he would be happy to see a Quebec company like train and plane maker Bombardier Inc win the contract.

But a Quebec spokeswoman later said that Caisse would be in charge of the bidding process.

Caisse, which acquired a 30 percent stake in Bombardier Transportation in 2015, will hold a global call for tenders audited by two experts to ensure a transparent and fair process, pension fund Chief Executive Michael Sabia said in an interview.

He said that Caisse, Canada's second-largest pension fund, would be begin qualifying consortia in the fall of 2016.   Continued...