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Croatia’s Motorways Step Closer to Being Privately Run

IFCroatia is a step closer to leasing out the operation of its motorways after the Ministry of Transport said that concession tender documentation will be complete by mid-September…

Last year banking giants Erste Group from Vienna, together with Deloitte and Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte from Zagreb were awarded the consultancy job by the Croatian government to analyse and formulate a concession plan to attract private companies to manage and operate 1,017 kilometres of Croatia’s motorways.

The tender, which will be offered for between 30 and 50 years, is reportedly set to go for between 2.5 and 3 billion euros. The concession will include the sections; Bregana – Zagreb – Lipovac, Zagreb – Split – Ravca, Zagreb – Rijeka, and Zagreb – Gorican.

“Not one kuna or euro will be spent on current costs, but will be used to reduce public debt,” Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic said regarding the monetization process.

The total revenue generated from motorways in Croatia last year totaled 2.2 kuna (280 million EUR), 5.6 percent more than the previous year. Croatian motorways made 1.36 billion kuna (170 million EUR) from tolls alone last year, up 6.2% from 2012. The biggest earner was the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway toll, which collected 490.3 million kuna (65 million EUR), up 2.1 percent from the previous year. The biggest jump was on the Zagreb – Macelj section, up 10.3% to 199 million kuna (26 million EUR).

Some fear, as with the now French operated Zagreb international airport, that prices will increase on motorway tolls and the likely foreign private company looks to maximise its profits. The government feel that the concession is the only viable option with Croatian Motorways in huge debt.

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