China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has won the concession for the Talca-Chillan section of Route 5 highway in Chile, the State owned Assets Supervision and Administrative Commission of the State Council (SASAC) announced on March 18.
This is the first time that a Chinese company has successfully bid on a public-private partnership (PPP) project in Chile. The Chilean Ministry of Public Works, through the General Directorate of Concessions, said other bidders included two consortia led by Spanish companies Sacyr Concesiones Chile SPA and the CINTRA-Intervial consortium.
The highway section totals 195 kilometres, and is scheduled to be completed within eight years, with total investment amounting to around US$800 million. Talca is located around 250 kilometres south of the capital city Santiago. The section of existing road runs south from Talca to Chillan, forming part of the highway system that runs the length of Chile.
The project includes operation and maintenance of the existing highway section, expansion of 30km of highway, the design and construction of a 54km ring road, and the building of 13 electronic toll collection systems.
A consortium of two CRCC subsidiaries is responsible for the project, integrating investment, construction and operation. Consorcio CRCC is formed by CRCC International Investment and China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited. The new concessionaire takes over the existing road system and tolls on April 1.
Chilean Minister of Public Works Alfredo Moreno was quoted in local press as saying that the new concession will provide a set of road and maintenance works that will improve connectivity and integration in the region. The first stage will involve studies, evaluations and environmental authorizations.
The main works include improved local connectivity to Route 5, the construction of a 56km bypass to San Rafael, Talca and Maule, and third lanes between the south of San Carlos and the end of the concession in the commune of Chillan Viejo. In addition to the construction of a series of structures, such as interchanges, turnbacks, walkways and bus bays with acceleration and braking lanes, the project will also involve the development of service roads, new drainage systems, lighting and landscaping.