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Uruguay's transport and public works ministry (MTOP) launched a tender for works on highways ruta 21 and ruta 24.
The project involves the addition of 179km to the highways – which are mainly used as timber and grain transport routes – to connect ports Fray Bentos, Nueva Palmira and Paysandú in the country's southwest corridor.
The winning bidder will be required to carry out widening works and build by-passes in cities Nueva Palmira, Dolores and Mercedes. The contract covers operation, maintenance and financing as part of a 24-year concession, a government release said.
MTOP minister Enrique Pintado said that the project would be the first awarded under Uruguay's public-private partnership (PPP) regulation law passed in July 2011.
Pintado said: "If works that are needed are carried out, full payment is made, but if not, payment will be made in relation to the percentage of work done."
Initial works are to be completed in a 12-month period. The entire project is expected to take 36 months.