razil’s plan to offer 13 highway concession contracts this year appears to be facing challenges as only one bidding process has been conducted so far. The government has set dates for two more auctions, but experts say that it will be difficult to achieve the goal due to the uncertainty generated by the fiscal scenario for long-term investors. Furthermore, there are not many companies with the capacity to take on so many contracts. According to Frederico Araujo Turolla, an infrastructure specialist and partner at consultancy Pezco, the government may not be able to hold 13 auctions of highway concession contracts this year.

In April, local infrastructure group EPR Participações won the concession for a 232km stretch of highway BR-040, which involves projected investments of 8.7 billion reais (US$1.7bn) to operate and improve the route. The stretch links Minas Gerais state capital Belo Horizonte and Juiz de Fora.

The government is set to offer a concession for a 303km stretch of highway BR-381 between Belo Horizonte and Governador Valadares on August 29. The 30-year contract comprises investments of up to 9.2bn reais. On September 26, the government will hold a bidding process for a concession for the 595km Rota dos Cristais stretch of the BR-040/GO/MG highway between Belo Horizonte and Cristalina in Goiás state. The projected investment for the 30-year concession is 12bn reais.

Land transport regulator ANTT is also advancing other highway concessions. ANTT stated that two projects are currently undergoing adjustments following analysis by the federal audit court (TCU). One of them is the Zebu route, which comprises 438.9km of BR-262/MG between Uberaba and Betim. The other is Rota Sertaneja, which covers the extension of BR-153/GO/MG between Goiânia, Goiás state, and Uberaba in Minas Gerais. Although ANTT did not provide a timeframe for the auctions, it said the notices will be launched in the second half of the year.

The Brazilian government’s plan to offer 13 highway concession contracts this year seems to be facing challenges. The government has set dates for two more auctions, but it may be difficult to achieve the goal due to the uncertainty generated by the fiscal scenario for long-term investors. Despite this, the government has already conducted one bidding process and has set dates for two more. ANTT is also advancing other highway concessions, although it did not provide a timeframe for the auctions.