Ecorodovias wins concession auction for Lote Noroeste, in SP, for BRL 1.236 billion

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Ecorodovias Concessões e Serviços won this Thursday (15) the re-bidding auction of two highway concessions in the so-called “Northwest Lot”, by offering a proposal of R$ 1.236 billion for the lot, with a premium of 16,151.2%.

It competed with two other interested parties: Infraestrutura Brasil Holding XXI, which bid R$ 321.331 million for the concession (premium of 4,122.89%), and CCR SA, had a proposal of R$ 753.848 million (premium of 9,806, 95%).

The concession agreement provides for investments of R$ 10 billion in works and R$ 3.9 billion in operations on 600 kilometers of roads that cross municipalities in the cities located in the regions of São José do Rio Preto, Araraquara, São Carlos and Barretos.

“We are aware of the complexity of the public notice and the contract, but we are sure that the asset will be able to generate a lot of value for us and society. With that, we confirm the position of the largest concessionaire in Brazil”, said Marcello Guidotti, from Ecorodovias.

The director of Artesp (Regulatory Agency for Delegated Public Transport Services), Milton Persoli, thanked the governor, Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), for advancing in the concessions program. “I can testify to your technical knowledge regarding the program. We made a series of technical visits and meetings and you always expressed a strong desire for this auction to be successful.”

The governor of São Paulo, who is seeking a new term, took the opportunity to say that the auction demonstrates the success of the partnership program and took the opportunity to invite participants to future auctions, such as the Rodoanel Norte auction. “One of the biggest concessions in Brazil has now been carried out, which will generate millions of jobs. We managed to do this with innovations, toll reductions and discounts for frequent users.”

The lot auctioned at B3, comprising five highways (SP-310, SP-323, SP-326, SP-333 and SP-351), had a minimum grant of R$7.6 million. There was also a forecast for a variable grant of 8.5% of the winning concessionaire’s gross revenue.

The contract is for a period of 30 years and includes the 158 km stretch of the Tebe highway concession (formed by a group of engineering companies) and the 442.2 km of AB Triângulo do Sul (a partnership between the Italian company Atlantia and Bertin).

For investments, duplication, implementation of shoulder and recovery of cycle paths are foreseen. Some of the milestones in the investment plan include the construction of second and third lanes along 222 kilometers and 45 pedestrian walkways.

Currently, there are ten toll plazas on the stretches. The project includes the implementation of the “free flow” toll collection system, which should progressively replace the toll plazas from the second year of the concession. A 5% reduction is expected for vehicles using the system.

Last Monday (12), Usuvias (Brazilian Association of Users of Highways under Concession) filed a public civil action against the state government and Artesp, asking that the tariff calculations be carried out before the auction of the Northwest lot.

According to the entity, the toll values ​​of the two current concessions were fixed without the calculation required by law. The association also criticizes the concession of a long stretch of 600 kilometers. “The combination of the mesh in a single lot favors the participation of a few large business groups, restricting competitiveness”, says a statement from the entity.

The Public Ministry of São Paulo even asked for the auction to be suspended until the amounts applied were verified. Until early this Thursday afternoon, the Second Court of the Public Treasury of the Capital, of the TJSP, had not yet issued its decision.

The period before the elections caused changes in the collection of tolls in São Paulo. In June, the government of São Paulo set aside R$ 400 million until the end of the year to pass on to the concessionaires that manage highways in the state, offsetting the freeze on the increase in toll rates, which would be readjusted on August 1st.

The government had announced that it would not readjust tariffs, a measure scheduled for early July, given the current economic situation in Brazil, especially the high prices. The governor of São Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), is a pre-candidate for reelection.

After the announcement, the concessionaires even threatened to go to court if there was no compensation.

“The government of São Paulo decided not to apply the readjustment of toll tariffs in road concessions before the elections, adding a component of tension in the air to this competition”, says Guilherme Naves, partner at Radar PPP consultancy. “At the same time, it was relatively to announce government payments.”

During the concession program, whose first stage took place in 1998, the government estimates that 11,700 kilometers of highways were granted to 20 private administrators and that R$ 181 billion were invested in highway maintenance works.

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