Honduran highway P3 reaches commercial close

After reaching financial close in late January, the Honduran government achieved commercial close with Autopistas del Atlantico this week.

Following years of planning and negotiations, the Honduran government this week reached commercial close with the consortium Autopistas del Atlantico on the 30-year Corredor Turistico public-private partnership (PPP; P3) highway project.

The $150 million project calls for the construction of a four-lane highway that would link the northern cities of La Barca, El Progreso and Tela and the commissioning of a highway from San Pedro Sula through the towns of El Progresso, Tela, and Ceiba. 

Coalianza, the Honduran PPP office, estimates that the project will lead to creation of roughly 12,000 jobs throughout the construction period. The agency estimates that it will earn a tax income of roughly HNL1.03 billion (€43.5 million; $47 million) and save approximately HNL870 million on the cost of construction, repair, maintenance and operation of the highway compared to the cost of traditional procurement methods. 

The project is meant to provide northern Honduras with a reliable, secure highway corridor. Coalianza hopes its creation will reduce chances of accidents and deaths related to poor road conditions in the region, with some intended benefits of the project including improved emergency services response time and capabilities, integration of improved signaling systems into the Honduran highway network, and access to towing services. The project also calls for the provision of rest areas and police stations along the route. 

As an income measure, three toll stations will be placed along the 122.6-kilometre route, with the toll set at $0.80 for lightweight vehicles and $1.60 for heavy vehicles.

The Autopistas del Atlantico consortium was selected as the private partner in the project in December 2012. It includes CI Grodco of Colombia, Grodco Panama, and the Honduran firm Profesionales de la Construccion (Prodecon).

A Japanese consortium – which includes Nippon Koei, Nippon Koei Latin America-Caribbean, and Honduran company Gabinete Tecnico – was selected in 2013 as the auditing agency, and will supervise design and construction of the project, according to BNAmericas.