June 5, 2012 / 7:27 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Vinci loses preferred bidder status on project

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PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - Vinci said on Tuesday that the French government had told the construction and concessions group that it had lost "preferred bidder" status on a 750 million euro project to build a toll road bypass around Strasbourg.

Vinci said in a statement that several banks had already confirmed that they would participate in the financing of the project, which a source told Reuters last week has run into local political opposition.

But the French Environment Ministry, which is in charge of the project, said Vinci had failed to line up financing from banks by a deadline which had already been extended twice.

"So it is not the government which is giving up on the Strasbourg bypass, it's the concessionaire which didn't provide its response within the specified time," the ministry added.

The project, which had been opposed by local Socialist and Green politicians, had been backed by former Transport Minister Thierry Mariani, who was replaced by Frederic Cuvillier following the election of Socialist President Francois Hollande earlier this month. (Reporting By Christian Plumb and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tim Dobbyn)

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