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Argentina inks US$1.8bn PPP highway contracts

Bnamericas Published: Friday, July 20, 2018
Argentina inks US$1.8bn PPP highway contracts

Argentina's transport minister Guillermo Dietrich (pictured) signed the first two of six highway contracts to be awarded under the country's US$30bn PPP program.

The contracts correspond to road corridors A and C, with combined investment of US$1.8bn and involve works on 1,484km of roads across Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Santa Fe and Córdoba provinces, the transport ministry said in a press release.

These two contracts were part of the first stage of the highway component of the PPP program, which includes six projects for US$8bn and covers 3,300km of roads.

The signed contracts are:

Road Corridor A: 706km in Buenos Aires province. The concession has two main branches. One on National Route 3 between Las Flores and the town of Coronel Dorrego, and the other on National Route 226 between the cities of Olavarría and Mar del Plata. Works on the corridor include turning a stretch between Las Flores and Azul into a highway, improving the section between Azul and Coronel Dorrego, and improving the section between Azul and Mar del Plata. Consortium Panolini HNOS-Vial Agro-INC won the contract for US$1bn.

Road Corridor C: 778km of National Route 7 crossing Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba and Mendoza. Works include turning the urban road of Junín (Buenos Aires) and the one along the Mendoza-San Luis border into a highway, improving the road between Junín and the Córdoba-San Luis border, and other tasks. The contract was awarded to Jose Cartellone Construcciones for US$801mn.

TRUST FUND

On Thursday, officials from the federal government, including minister Dietrich, signed a contract to create a trust fund that guarantees financing of the PPP highway contracts and increases transparency, the transport ministry said in a separate press statement.

"Its function as a transparent vehicle of payment and guarantees gives private investors enough certainty that the main source of financing, which is fuel taxes, will be correctly applied to the repayment of the services and works included in the contracts," Dietrich said.

At the signing ceremony were also present the general administrator of highways authority Vialidad Nacional Patricia Gutierrez, the CEO of investment and external commerce bank BICE Fernando Latorre, the head of Argentina's national bank BNA Javier González, legal representatives of Banco de Valores, and the finance ministry's PPP secretary José Luis Morea.

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