Contractors contacted by the Kremlin over £8bn PPP deal to build Moscow-St Petersburg highway.

Balfour Beatty and Jarvis have been approached by the Russian government over an £8bn contract to build a motorway from Moscow to St Petersburg, according to reports.

The Times this morning said that the two firms had been contacted by the Kremlin to find out whether they would be interested in lodging bids with accountant Ernst & Young for what would be the first project in a massive PPP programme.

Up to 20 similar projects are said to be on the cards for the coming year, with a value of as much as £50bn. It is believed that UK firms would be frontrunners to win the contracts thanks to their experience in the PPP sector.

Other projects include a ring-road around Moscow, port terminals at St Petersburg, Novorossiysk and Murmansk and a toll road outside St Petersburg.

The explosion in Russian PPP investment follows the passing of a PPP law last year. As well as transport infrastructure, the Russian government is aiming to use PPP to upgrade its oil and gas export network.