The new Attica Highway (Attiki Odos) concession has evolved into a battle of giants that is expected to bring in more than 2.5 billion euros. The difficult conditions prevailing in the market, escalated by the consequences of the new energy crisis, have precipitated alternative scenarios and delays.

The tender for the new Attica Highway concession is progressing at a fast pace with 8 strong participations, with a horizon for binding offers within the first quarter of 2023. The next meeting of the HRADF Board of Directors, scheduled for on July 21, 2022, will approve the framework that will govern the process of the Request for Binding Offers, while the access of pre-selected investors to the VirtualDataRoom (VDR) will also be approved.

The revenue puzzle

Based on planning, by the beginning of September at the latest, the initial draft of the Concession Agreement will be posted, in order for interested investors to formulate their offers. The rise in interest rates has brought a different economic environment, which affects all projects. Certainly Attiki Odos is one of the world’s most attractive assets under development and the country’s most profitable concession highway.

Read also: Athens Railway Station in second phase of renovation

With the total value of the new concession estimated at at least 2.4 billion euros, the best mix between the initial price and the annual participation of the Greek State in the revenue of the concession is currently being examined. Most likely now is to ask for an increased annual participation rate, capping the starting price, in order for participants to give high and sound bids.

Among other things, a model of different toll charges is being considered, which will be based on peak hours, i.e. a higher charge during peak traffic hours and a lower charge during other times. It is estimated, moreover, that the traffic on Attiki Odos will increase as the necessary expansion projects that are already proceeding with the first expansion of Kymi Avenue.

Egnatia Highway concession in 2023

As for the Egnatia Highway (Egnatia Odos) concession, which is the largest pending project for the privatization program, there is a host of pending issues making the 2022 milestone unattainable. Contributing to this is the fact that serious pending issues have to do with the Greek State, the concessionaire, and the banks.

Essentially, in order reach finalization, the last step of which is the Court of Audit, the financing and construction agreements must be completed so that they can be submitted together with the rest of the tender documents. This is not simple. On the one hand, the State should proceed with the licensing of the tunnels and the operation of the last toll stations.

The concessionaire, for his part, should complete, under current uncertainties which make negotiations difficult, financial agreements with the banks, but also the agreements with subcontractors for the construction part. Also, Egnatia Odos SA. should spell out in detail what the GEK TERNA –EgisProjects scheme receives. The current operator will have to hand over the highway to the new operator who will have to know where everything is and how everything works.

The number, but above all the essence of the remaining outstanding issues is such, that it is difficult to impossible to complete them by the end of 2022, as was initially planned. Therefore the transaction is now scheduled for 2023.

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