Isolux consortium wins €720m Brazilian toll road concession

The Spanish engineering and construction firm will upgrade and develop a total of 680km of road in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The 25-year concession will be its first in the Latin American country.

A consortium led by Spanish engineering and construction firm Isolux Corsan has won a 25-year concession to upgrade and operate sections of two highways in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The expected investment for both projects is €720 million, according to a statement released by Isolux.

The projects are two of three highway tenders the state of Bahia intends to grant in the first three months of the year and the first concession Isolux has won in Brazil.

One project included in the concession will involve upgrading and operating a 567-kilometre section of the BR-116 federal highway between the city of Feira de Santana in Bahia and the border of the neighboring state of Minas Gerais in the south. The other will involve upgrading and operating the 113 kilometres of the BR-324 federal highway connecting Feira de Santana with the Port of Salvador on the Atlantic coast.

Isolux owns 75 percent of the concession company for the projects. Engineering firm Engevix owns 20 percent and Brazilian construction company Encalso owns 5 percent.

The road auction was based on toll rates. Isolux’s consortium bid the lowest toll, below the government’s threshold of R$2.80 (€.95; $1.2).

Brazil’s National Agency for Land Transport awarded the concession for the projects, both of which are eligible for project financing from Brazil’s development bank BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Social).

The project awards will bring to 14 the number of concessions that Brazil’s federal government has awarded in recent years. Five were granted to Spanish construction company OHL in October 2007. Other toll roads have gone to Brazilian firm BRVias and Spanish infrastructure contractor Acciona, among others.

A project to develop four parts of Bahia’s state road BA-093 around the Port of Salvador is also expected to be awarded in the first quarter of the year. That concession will be administered at the state level.