Brazil's Bertin Group has said it has the 370mn-real (US$223mn) deposit required to sign its concession contract for the Sul and Leste stretches of São Paulo state's Rodoanel Mário Covas beltway.
Bertin Infrastructure CEO Antonio Kelson shot down media reports that the company lacks funds to sign the concession contract, news service Agência Estado reported.
In early February, the company filed for a 30-day extension to sign the concession contract and hand over the deposit. However, this was for technical rather than financial reasons, according to Kelson.
"We were finishing up the inventory of the highway stretch and checking environmental conditions, pavement and signage," the executive was quoted as saying, adding that the deposit is ready to be transferred.
Bertin, through its SPMar consortium, submitted the best offer for the two highway stretches in November last year, undercutting the government's ceiling price for toll fees by 63.4%.
Once the contract is signed, the consortium will operate both stretches throughout the 35-year concession period. The contract also includes building 42.4km of Rodoanel Leste, which must be completed within 36 months. The 61.4km Rodoanel Sul stretch was completed in early 2010.
Investments for the concession will total some 5bn reais, with 4bn reais going towards construction of Rodoanel Leste.
The Rodoanel Mário Covas beltway will eventually have four stretches totaling 170km. It will connect 10 highways to the capital city, including Dutra, Fernão Dias, Castello Branco and Ayrton Senna.