A JV of Macquarie and Ashoka Buildcon has emerged the highest bidder for the Centre’s first batch of toll-operate-transfer (TOT) projects. The company has reportedly bagged projects for Rs 97 billion. This has completed the bidding process for the first round of monetisation of public-funded national highway projects under the TOT model. As reported, the first batch had nine projects; the company’s bid was 1.5 times higher than the base price of Rs 62.6 billion.
Ashoka Buildcon would be responsible for operation and maintenance and the equity would be brought in by the Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund-II. The first bundle for monetisation, released by the NHAI, covers nine stretches – five highways in Andhra Pradesh and four in Gujarat.
Four bids were reportedly received for the first bundle – from Brookfield Asset Management, Macquarie-Ashoka Buildcon, IRB Infrastructure, and Roadis-NIIF. Under the TOT model, the concessionaire pays a one-time fee upfront and operates the toll for 30 years. This model is applicable to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and the built, operate and transfer (BOT) (annuity) highway projects that were commissioned at least two years ago. As reported, the funds generated from highway monetisation would be used for new infrastructure programmes such as the Bharatmala.