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Countdown starts on Turkey’s largest infrastructure and privatisation projects

Tenders for two of Turkey’s largest infrastructure and privatisation projects - the building of a third bridge over the Istanbul Strait and transfer of operating rights of 2,236km-long highways - are expected to kick off in the coming months. The final application date for the preliminary qualification regarding the highway and bridges privatisation and the final bidding for the building of the third bridge over the Bosphorus is to take place on the same day: 5 April.

The bridges and highways that will be privatised as a single package include; the two bridges over the Bosphorus with their ring motorways, the Edirne-Istanbul-Ankara Motorway, the Pozanti-Tarsus-Mersin Motorway, the Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep Motorway, the ToprakkaleIskenderun Motorway, the Gaziantep-Sanliurfa Motorway, the Izmir-Çesme Motorway, the Izmir-Aydin Motorway and the Izmir and Ankara Ring Motorways. The final bidding date is 17 May.

The highway privatisation is one of the largest sales of public assets in Turkey to date, with at least 20 companies having expressed interest. The deal for the transfer of operating rights of Turkey’s busiest toll roads and bridges for 25 years may reach as high as $6bn, according to an earlier report by weekly Bloomberg Businessweek. Europe’s biggest building company, Italian Vinci SA, toll specialist, Autostrade per l’Italia SpA, and Malaysian engineering group, UEM Berhad, are among the expected bidders.

The building of a third bridge over the Bosphorus as part of the North Marmara Highway project is to be put to tender again after the initial size of the project was scaled down to around $2.5bn from the original $6bn.

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