Brazil gets eight bids to run 937-km stretch of Brasilia-Rio road

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Eight groups have submitted bids for a 30-year contract to operate a key stretch of highway linking Brazil’s capital, fast-growing highland farms and the mining and industrial belt of Minas Gerais to the port of Rio de Janeiro, the government said on Monday.

Brazilian highway operators CCR SA, Ecorodovias Infraestrutura e Logistica SA,TPI-Triunfo Participações e Investimentos SA and Brazilian construction giant Grupo Queiroz Galvão are among the bidders or part of bidding groups.

In exchange for repairing and expanding a 937-kilometer (582-mile) stretch of Brazil’s BR-040 highway between the federal district of Brasilia and Juiz de Fora on the border of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states, the winner will be allowed to collect tolls on its use for 30 years, Brazil’s land-transport agency said. Results are expected Friday by 11 a.m. (1300 GMT).

It is the fifth highway auction by the Brazilian government this year, the Transport Ministry said. It comes as the government attempts to speed up improvements to the country’s over-stretched and crumbling ports, highways and airports, a factor that has dragged on economic growth.

The highway being auctioned is part of a plan that seeks to upgrade 5,176 kilometers of mostly two-lane highways into four-lane divided highways within five years. The plan, which will have both public and private components, is expected to attract 27 billion reais ($11.4 billion) of investment over five years.

Five of the bidders will bid alone while the rest will form groups. The auction has attracted more bidders than any of the previous auctions this year.

CCR will participate on its own as will Triunfo, Invepar-Investimentos e Participações em Infraestrutura SA, Contern Construções e Comércio Ltda and Grupo Queiroz Galvão.

Ecorodovias will bid as part of the Via Capital consortium. Six partners that bid with Ecorodovias in the previous auctions will also be part of the group: Coimex Empreendimentos e Participações, Rio Novo Locações, Tervap Pitanga Mineração e Pavimentação, Contek Engenharia, A. Madeira Indústria e Comércio and Urbesa Administração.

Fidens Engenharia will be part of the Integração Consortium with Construtora Aterpa M. Martins, Construtora Barbosa Mello e Carioca Chistiani-Nielsen Engenharia.

Encalso Construções will be part of the Caminho Novo Consortium with Camter Construções, Infravix Participações, Conter Construções e Comércio and Firpavi Construtora e Pavimentadora.

The maximum toll allowed under bid rules will be 8,29763 reais per toll station. ($1 = 2.37 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Roberta Vilas Boas; Additional reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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