Latin America: Acciona agrees to return road concession

16 April 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Spanish developer Acciona has opted to return its Rodovia do Aço road concession to the Brazilian government, it said in a statement on Friday (13 April).

Shareholders approved the decision on 11 April, meaning the government may now choose to retender the project.

This is in line with a law passed on 5 June 2017, enabling companies facing financial difficulties to return road, airport and rail projects to the federal government. The move aims to relieve companies still suffering from Brazil’s worst recession in decades.

Acciona declined to comment on the reasons for returning the project. 

A spokesperson for the National Ground Transportation Agency (ANTT) confirmed that it is evaluating Acciona’s proposal and does not have a deadline for a final decision. If ANTT does give the go-ahead, Acciona will stop investing in the project. 

In 2008, Acciona won the project to operate, maintain and carry out construction work on a 200km stretch of the BR-393 in Rio de Janeiro state.

This is the third time a concessionaire has taken advantage of the new law. In September 2017, Inveparreturned the BR-040 road, after missing five-year construction targets.

In July 2017, a JV of Brazilian developers Triunfo and UTC Participações returned São Paulo state’s Viracopos airport concession, having both filed for bankruptcy protection.

In the case of the BR-153 road project, the government took back the project from concessionaire Galvão Engenharia, retendering it in President Temer’s latest wave of concessions announced on 23 August. The World Bank is carrying out studies for the retender of the north-south road, Brazil’s fourth longest highway.