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The ACS Group obtains new highway concession in Portugal

Iridium has been selected by the Portuguese government to build and operate the Baixo Alentejo highway for 30 years, in the centre of the country

17-12-2008
Iridium, the concessions company of the ACS Group, was selected by the Portuguese government to build and operate the new Baixo Alentejo highway, which shall connect the towns of Sines and Beja, in the centre of the country.

The company, part of the ACS Group, world leader in the transport concession and infrastructure sector, heads a consortium that includes the Portuguese companies Edifer, Tecnovia and Conduril. Furthermore, Dragados, head of the construction area of the group, will lead the execution of the works.

The awarding of this concession, the tender of which involved the largest Portuguese and Spanish infrastructure groups, shall represent for the construction company the execution of 84 new kilometres of highway, the duplication of 43 kilometres of existing road and the improving of another 220 kilometres of roads in the area, representing 410 million euros.

The infrastructure shall be partially financed through a contribution of capital from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of 210 million euros and the rest with external financing, already guaranteed with the pool of banks that accompany the consortium. The income from the project shall come from availability payments and shadow tolls.

The Portuguese Government, through the public roads agency Estradas de Portugal (EP) has implemented the development of a highway plan with private investment totalling 5,000 million euros, in order to build 1,300 new kilometres of roads and highways in the country within two years distributed in ten concessions projects, of which four have already been awarded and the rest are in various tender or bidding phases.

The ACS Group concessions area started its first toll motorway in Portugal in 2003, the A-23 or Scut Beira Interior. Today, Iridium competes for other motorway concessions in Portugal and is the successful bidder for the construction of the first Portuguese high speed section, which shall connect Caia and Poceira, totalling an investment of 1,400 million euros.

Since the end of the summer, the concessions affiliate has been awarded important transport infrastructure projects, such as the Canadian A-30 motorway together with Acciona, the I-595 in Florida and the I-69 in Texas, as well as the Diagonal axis in Catalonia. During this year, the ACS Group also renewed its global leadership in the transport infrastructure sector ranking in terms of projects won and executed.