Subject: Marão Tunnel Concession – contract signed with consortium led by Somague
The Prime Minister, José Sócrates, the Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communications, Mário Lino, and the State Secretary for Public Works and Communications, Paulo Campos, were present on 31 May 2008 at the signing of the contract for the concession of the Marão Tunnel to the consortium Auto-Estrada do Marão, led by Somague.
This concession represents investment of €350 million and includes the design, construction, widening, financing, operation and maintenance, with tolls charged to users on the A4/IP4 – Amarante/Vila Real and widening of the section between the Geraldes junction and the Padronelo junction, toll-free to local traffic.
The consortium led by Somague has the following composition:
Somague Itinere, S.A. - 53%, Somague Engenharia, S.A.- 1%, Itinere Infraestructuras, S.A. - 1%, MSF Concessões SGPS, S.A. - 35%, MSF Empreiteiros, S.A. - 10%.
The Marão Tunnel is the first initiative in the European Union to make use of LGTT, an innovative loan guarantee instrument that supports trans-European transport network projects, created and developed in conjunction by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The aim of LGTT is to increase and accelerate private sector investment in Trans-European Networks (TENs). Under LGTT, the EIB covers the risk of unexpected reductions in traffic revenue for the project during the early years of its operation. The repayment of the loan resulting from use of LGTT is subordinate to prior repayment of the senior loans guaranteed. As a consequence of the subordination of the LGTT guarantee, the financial viability of the project is improved. The event was also attended by the Vice-President of the EIB, Carlos da Silva Costa.
The Prime Minister referred to the importance of the challenge now raised for Portuguese engineering, a fact also highlighted in the speech of the Vice-President of the EIB. The construction of the longest road tunnel in Portugal, with two galleries, each 5665m long, with 13 interconnections between them (8 for pedestrians and 5 for vehicles and pedestrians) will be a great technical challenge. The Concession shall also include the construction of 13 Viaducts, with a total length of 4.0 km, including a 816m viaduct over the Rio Ovelha valley and a 915m viaduct over the Rio Marão, 16 grade separations and 2 large animal crossings, 1 Service Area located between Campeã junction and Parada de Cunhos junction and also a Road Service and Maintenance Centre.
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