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The Ministry of Public Works and Transport of the Government of Spain (Ministerio de Fomento) has announced that it will launch tenders for the first two projects in the EUR5 billion (US$6.14 billion) Extraordinary Road Plan (Plan Extraordinario de Carreteras) in the next few days.
The projects to be tendered are Eje Norte-Sur de Murcia, a 32.8km route from the north to the south of Murcia, a region in the south-east of Spain, and a 72.8km section of Autovía del Mediterráneo (Mediterranean Highway, also called the A-7) between Crevillente, in the province of Alicante, and Alhama, in Murcia. Estimated investments required for the projects are EUR305 million (US$374.6 million) and EUR626 million (US$768.9 million), respectively.
These projects will be the first road concessions tendered in Spain in over a decade, since before the financial crisis of 2008. Fomento reportedly plans to tender concessions worth EUR2 billion (US$2.46 billion) this year.
It is likely that tenders for other projects within the Plan will be launched in the coming months, such as the expansion of the A-7 in Castellón, a province of the Valencian Community on the east coast of Spain, which has an estimated cost of EUR432 million (US$530.6 million), and the widening of Autovía 52 (A-52) between Vigo and O Porriño, in the province of Pontevedra in the north-west region of Galicia, estimated to cost EUR367 million (US$450.8 million).
The Plan was announced by the Spanish government in July last year, and has been endorsed by major construction companies. It envisages the construction and rehabilitation of 2,000km of road across the country over the next three years. The concessions awarded will include operation and maintenance periods of 30 years.
The successful bidders will be remunerated through availability payments, paid mainly through government funds. Though the government expects to receive some financial support from the European Union and European Investment Bank.