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Brisa enters India with Mumbai bridge contract

The Portuguese toll road operator, through a joint venture with India’s Feedback Ventures, will take over the operation and maintenance of the Mumbai Sea Link bridge in late March.

Guilherme Magalhães, the head of Portuguese toll road operator Brisa’s international business, announced at a conference in Lisbon yesterday that the company will enter the Indian market with a contract to operate a bridge in Mumbai.
 
Brisa, through its operations and maintenance joint venture (JV) with Indian firm Feedback Ventures, will take over the contract to operate and maintain the eight-lane Mumbai Sea Link bridge on March 26. Reliance Infrastructure holds the concession for the bridge and has now sub-contracted its operation and maintenance to the Brisa/Feedback Ventures JV.
 
Magalhães told the conference that Brisa is aiming to win between 40 and 50 operations and maintenance contracts in India over the next five years, which could net the Portuguese firm up to €100 million.
 
Brisa officially announced its JV with Feedback Ventures in mid-January. At the time, a source close to the company told Infrastructure Investor that Brisa will use the partnership to gain a foothold in the Indian market before deciding if it will move to bid for the construction and operation of road projects. India is currently implementing an ambitious programme to build, refurbish and enlarge some 55,000 kilometres of road.
 
The Portuguese toll road developer has been looking to expand to other international markets ever since it sold its stake in Brazilian toll road operator CCR last year. Luis D’Eça Pinheiro, head of investor relations at Brisa, said in the February 2011 issue of Infrastructure Investor magazine that Brisa is also targeting the upcoming privatisation of some 2,000 kilometres of brownfield highways and Istanbul’s two suspension bridges, in Turkey, a deal said to be worth more than $5 billion.
 
Brisa currently derives the majority of its revenues from the slow-growing Portuguese market, although it holds a 99-year concession to build and operate an 18-kilometre road in Denver, Colorado, known as the Northwest Parkway.
 
Feedback Ventures billed itself as India’s “leading integrated infrastructure services company” in a press release announcing the JV. The company has over 1,000 employees and provides services across several infrastructure sectors, including highways, railways, ports and airports, to name a selection.