In The News

3 Proponents Are Shortlisted for P3 to Operate Toll Highways

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S&B USA Concessions was one of three proponents shortlisted for the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (PRHTA) toll roads PR-20, PR-52, PR-53 and PR-66 project.

The article below is from The San Juan Daily Star

Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority (P3A) Executive Director Fermín Fontanés Gómez announced Tuesday that three qualified proponents were shortlisted for the proposed monetization of the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (PRHTA) toll roads PR-20, PR-52, PR-53 and PR-66.

The shortlisted qualified respondents were:

  1. Abertis Infraestructuras S.A.
  2. Concesionario Nuevo Puerto Rico – a to-be-formed consortium composed of Plenary Americas US Holdings Inc. and Shikun & Binui Concessions USA Inc.
  3. Vías de Puerto Rico – a to-be-formed consortium composed of Sacyr Infrastructure USA LLC and TKO Core Infrastructure Fund LP, a to-be-formed investment fund that Star America Infrastructure Partners LLC will manage.

The shortlist resulted from a request for qualifications (RFQ) issued in August. According to local law, partnership committee members at the P3A were responsible for evaluating the statements of qualifications (SOQs) submitted by the respondents and selecting those better qualified with the technical and financial capabilities required to manage and operate the proposed P3.

The P3A expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) in the coming weeks for the three shortlisted respondents to submit specific proposals for the proposed toll road P3.

According to the P3A, the RFQ drew interest from four participants, including companies and consortia.

“Puerto Rico has been generating unique and innovative infrastructure investment opportunities in recent years,” Fontanés said. “This project is another example, and it reflects the Government of Puerto Rico’s commitment to modernizing and improving the quality of existing and future infrastructure.”

The partnership committee members’ evaluation of all respondents was based on their compliance with the Public-Private Partnership Law, their technical qualifications and capabilities, their project finance qualifications, their technical approach and their financial approach.

The three qualified respondents have operations across the globe, including the mainland United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Puerto Rico.

On March 24 of this year, the P3A published the Desirability and Convenience Study to monetize the PRHTA’s toll roads. The study, commissioned by the P3A, concluded that it is advisable to establish a public-private partnership for the project, a priority for the government.

The PRHTA’s Feb. 22, 2022 Certified Fiscal Plan highlights the need for the authority to address underperformance in operation and maintenance of the toll roads.

The proposed P3 seeks to improve budget certainty; modernize the existing infrastructure and improve the quality of the toll roads; improve mobility, accessibility, and safety for users; improve performance and accountability; and increase revenue opportunities.

On Nov. 25, the STAR reported that according to sources at least four major companies had submitted SOQs in response to Puerto Rico’s solicitation seeking a concessionaire to operate the aforementioned toll highways. The STAR also said that Plenary Group, Sacyr and Abertis were among the companies that answered an RFQ published by the P3A during the summer.