IN SHORT

Mott MacDonald becomes highway advisor

THE LONDON-based company Mott MacDonald has been chosen as the strategic adviser in the search for a private investor for highway construction, the news wire SITA wrote.

Slovak Roads Administration (SSC) Spokesman Juraj Fürst said the administration had signed the contract with the company last week.

The selection commission, deciding on the advisor, chose Mott MacDonald as the winner of the tender in January.

Mott MacDonald will advise the SSC such that as many private investors as possible will show interest in financing highway construction. It will assist the Transport Ministry and the SSC in choosing the most advantageous model for construction that will also satisfy concession holders.

In addition, the adviser will secure sufficient capital from private investors, and help select highway sections for construction with the help of private capital. Remuneration for advisory services will be published only after the contract is signed.

Private investors could invest from Sk80 billion to Sk100 billion (€2 billion to €2.5 billion) in highway construction in Slovakia, which would be returned within a few years. These investments would be paid from tolls on highways and selected upgraded roads. Revenues from tax on mineral oils are also being considered as a source of repayment.

According to the SSC, the adviser will begin to draft specifications for optimal investors several months after signing the contract. Highway construction could start in the second half of 2005.

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