European Companies Dominate Uganda’s $1 Billion Toll Road Bids

(Bloomberg) -- Uganda pre-qualified eight groups of companies for a public-private partnership to build and operate a 95-kilometer (59-mile) toll road worth more than $1 billion.

France-based Vinci SA, Strabag SE Austria and Tecnasol Luisa Goncal of Portugal are leading groups in bids for the road linking the capital, Kampala, to Jinja town in the east, Uganda Roads Authority Executive Director Allen Kagina told reporters.

China Communications Company Ltd. and China First Highway Engineering Co. presented a joint bid, while CCKS Consortium led another group, she said. China Railway Construction Investment Group Co. is bidding with India’s Cube Construction Engineering Ltd., while others are Shapoorji Pacconji and South Africa’s Enkula Expressway Consortium.

The International Finance Corp. is the transaction adviser for the project. The African Development Bank, the French Development Agency and the European Union will lend Uganda a $400 million for the road, the nation’s first under a public-private partnership. The EU will provide 90 million euros, according to Chris Olobo, the IFC consultant for the project.

The winning group will mobilize at least $600 million for the project that will be awarded by the end of 2019 and construction may take five to six years, Kagina said.

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