Ashoka Buildcon (ABL) on Thursday said the company will be the operations and maintenance (O&M) partner for the Macquarie Group, which has emerged as the winning bidder for the first bundle of road projects under the toll, operate, transfer (TOT) mode, bid out by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).The Sydney-based infrastructure asset management company on Wednesday won the bid to manage 648 km of national highways with its bid of Rs 9,681.5 crore in an auction. Other bid participants included Canadian asset manager Brookfield, IRB-Autostrade and Roadis-NIIF. In an emailed statement, a Macquarie spokesperson said, “This is a unique opportunity to invest in a high quality diversified portfolio of roads over a long concession period of 30 years. Macquarie and Ashoka have a long-term partnership in India and in this instance, Ashoka will be managing the operations, maintenance as well as capital expenditure.”
Ashoka Buildcon said it would receive Rs 1,025 crore from Macquarie for the first two years of the project for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works. Paresh Mehta, CFO, Ashoka Buildcon, told FE, “The EPC work is for miscellaneous works that are to be done on the nine road projects in the bundle. A few structures need to be constructed as well as few toll plazas. There could potentially also be an O&M contract where we would be the preferred contractor to manage the day-to-day tolling and maintenance activity for the next 30 years. This will be decided in the next three-four months. The third activity is the major maintenance of the road which is to be carried out every five years.”
Separately, ABL said the company has emerged as the lowest bidder for a road project under the hybrid annuity model (HAM) in the state of Jharkhand. The company’s subsidiary, Ashoka Concessions, won the project for six-laning of Khairatunda to Barwa Adda section of NH-2 with a bid amount of Rs 860.10 crore.