Giant groups race at first tender to sell toll roads

Giant groups race at first tender to sell toll roads

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Giant groups race at first tender to sell toll roads

The toll roads to be privatized include two bridges linking the two sides of Istanbul.

Five consortia, including major Turkish holdings, have applied for the privatization tender for the management of the Bosphorus bridges, highways, and the service facilities, management facilities and toll facilities associated with them.

These will be tendered as one package for the 25-year management rights.

The consortia that have applied for the tender are Vinci Concessions Holding, Zorlu Holding-OHL Concessions Joint Venture, Nurol Holding-MV Holding-Alsim Alarko Industrial Institutes and Commercial Construction-Fernas Construction Joint Venture, Autostrade Per Italia-Doğuş Holding-Makyol Construction Industrial Tourism and Commerce-Akfen Holding Joint Venture, and Koç Holding-UEM Group Berhad-Gözde Venture Capital Investment Partnership Joint Venture.

Turkey’s İçtaş İnşaat Sanayi Ticaret and Italy’s Astaldi consortium won a bid in late May for a part of the Northern Marmara Highway Project, which includes a third bridge over the Bosphorus. The government is also building a metrorail line under the Bosphorus, in addition to another tunnel for cars.

Leading firms
The deadline for placing bids for the toll roads, which total 2,000 kilometers, had been postponed multiple times due to a lack of interest.

Turkey is facing problems with privatizing both its natural gas and electricity grids, mainly because of the financing difficulties that face possible candidates.

The consortiums participating in yesterday’s tender included a large holdings such as Doğuş, a group active in media and banking; Nurol, a rooted contractor, Alarko; another multi-sector group, Zorlu; an energy and white goods giant; and Akfen, which is mainly active in the airport, construction and energy sectors. One strong joint venture includes Koç, one of the two largest conglomerates in the country, and Gözde, which is owned by members of Ülker family, who control Yıldız Holding, the owner of the largest food company and an a major investor in several sectors.

Hüsnü Akhan, chief executive of Doğuş Holding, told Reuters at a press event yesterday that his group has authorized Deutsche Bank, Unicredit and Goldman Sachs for the financing for the toll road privatization. The group has currently frozen its plans to go public because of the bad economic environment, he said.

New system to beat traffic

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency

A new pass system on Turkey’s highways and bridges will be launched as of Sept. 17, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım said yesterday. The new, fast pass system (HGS), is expected to replace the current card pass system (KGS) before the beginning of next year.

The HGS will enable faster passing than the KGS and also help prevent traffic clogs at toll booths. The automatic pass system (OGS), which is also currently in use, also allows speedy passing. HGS tags and cards will be sold at branches of PTT, gas stations and motorway service areas at 5 liras and 10 liras. The HGS is 20 percent cheaper than the KGS, Yıldırım said.