German gov selects Hochtief-Vinci for A4 autobahn toll concession
By Peter Samuel
The German government has announced a Vinci-Hochtief joint venture as preferred concessionaire for a 30 year toll concession to upgrade and operate a 45km (28 mile) section of the A4 autobahn between Gotha and Eisenach known as the Horselberg section. This is one of a number of concession projects under a financing methodology called A-Modell which stands for Autobahnfinanzierungsmodell or autobahn financing model.
The concession provides for about $400m (E300m) of upgrades including 3rd laning to be funded by the concessionaire. The old motorway is in Thuringia state located in the center of Germany and a major crossroads for long distance traffic. Many logistics groups are setting up warehousing facilities off autobahns in the area and servicing the whole of Germany and neighboring countries from there.
Under the A-Modell program concessionaires offer a program of upgrades including lane additions and rebuilding and undertake maintenance and operations of old autobahn or motorway. In return they are entitled to tolls paid by heavy trucks (>12t) under the Toll Collect program on their stretch of highway. This provides them with an incentive to attract truck traffic.
Hochtief is involved in about a dozen tollroad concession projects - in Australia (through sub leighton), Chile, Austria, Philippines and Argentina and Vinci in France and south America. Vinci owns ASF, one of the largest toll operators in France, and has some 4,300km of tollway.
An F-Modell financing program provides for more conventional toll concessions where the concessionaires can levy tolls themselves on all vehicles using the facility. It has been applied to a couple of tunnel construction projects.
The German government has said it hopes to get work worth about $4b (E3b) underway on the country's autobahn system via A-Modell concessions issued by 2009.