Italian-Turkish JV wins Russian toll-highway job ahead of World Cup

A joint venture (JV) between Italian contractor Astaldi and Turkey’s IC Ictas has signed a contract to design and build a 140-km stretch of the new Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway in Russia in preparation for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

The contract, valued at $1.2bn (68 billion roubles; €1.1bn), sees the 50-50 JV, called ICA, begin work this month.

In a statement today Astaldi said the job is expected to last 35 months, which would mean a finishing date of June 2018, when the football tournament begins.

The award marks the financial close, also announced today, of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Russian state roads agency AVTODOR and Two Capitals Highway LLC, made up of Russian state-majority-owned bank VTB Group (55%) and France’s Vinci Concessions (45%).

Two Capitals Highway signed the PPP with AVTODOR on 18 November 2014. The 27-year contract covers financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the toll highway for 24 years upon completion.

ICA is to build lots 7 and 8 of the highway, a stretch having both six lanes and four lanes with traffic travelling at speeds up to 150km/h.

The Russian Federation will finance 75% of the cost of construction.

Astaldi said the contract win would allow for "significant operating economies" because the ICA JV is already working on another road project nearby, the Western High-Speed Diameter in St. Petersburg.

Photograph: A highway in Russia, the M-4, in 2012 (AVTODOR)

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