Transactions: EMEA

Supporting greater sustainability through the Grand Paris Express project

Building societal resilience (icon)
Construction of a tunnel for the Grand Paris Express project (photo)

After more than ten years of planning, the City of Paris is working on the largest public transport project in Europe, known as the Grand Paris Express. This ambitious development aims to double the size of the existing metro system by adding 200 kilometres of new tracks and 68 new stations. Expected to carry up to two million passengers per day when completed, it represents a major step forward in the city’s public transportation thinking.

Due to the size and complexity of the project, a panel of insurers and reinsurers, including Swiss Re, were consulted and invited to participate in the insurance programme design discussions to ensure an optimal insurance solution could be provided. Based on our large infrastructure project engineering and risk knowledge, we gained the leading reinsurer position on the construction and post-construction insurance covers. In this role, we have been able to support the larger ambitions of the project that include creating better access to suburban areas, stimulating economic development and growth, as well as providing important quality-of-life improvements to all Parisians.

In particular, this unparalleled project will bring significant improvements to the city’s environment by drastically reducing vehicle congestion, noise and air pollution, as well as material increases in efficiency by reducing travel times between key locations. In the end, the Grand Paris Express will be more than just a new transport network, it intends to revitalise Paris as a leading global city.

Facilitating sustainable transport in Europe with the Brenner Base Tunnel

Brenner Base Tunnel – Construction site (photo)

The Brenner Base Tunnel is the main element of the new Brenner railway from Munich to Verona and one of the most important infrastructure projects in Europe. At 64 kilometres, the tunnel will be the longest underground railway connection in the world, linking Austria and Italy. When completed in 2026, this pioneering work of engineering will not only greatly improve passenger travel through the heart of Europe but, more importantly, help shift the European freight sector from road to rail, thus allowing a material reduction in heavy road vehicle traffic.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ long-standing expertise in the field of infrastructure and tunnel construction, coupled with its capacity to underwrite large risks and a strong understanding of local insurance regulations, allowed us to be appointed insurance leader and co-leader for the Austrian and Italian sides of the project. With both parts of the tunnel being worked on simultaneously, the project’s technical complexity has required a rigorous underwriting process, including the examination of the physical aspects of the work, as well as meeting the clients’ local regulation and risk management requirements.

As a key element of the wider Trans-European Transport Network, the Brenner Base Tunnel is central for the European economy. Given that about 40% of all trans-alpine transport currently goes over the Brenner Pass, the tunnel will remove a significant infrastructure bottleneck and make a major contribution to improving the sustainable transport of goods. Ultimately, it will promote faster and more environmentally friendly high-capacity transport for freight and passengers, and help reduce CO2 emissions.