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Countdown begins for Turkey’s gigantic infrastructure and privatization projects 

Dünya - Tenders for two of Turkey’s largest infrastructure and privatization projects—the building of a third bridge over the Istanbul Strait and transfer of operating rights of 2,236 km-long highways—are expected to kick off in the coming months.

The final application date for the preliminary qualification regarding the highway and bridges privatization and the final bidding for the building of the third bridge over the Bosphorus is to take place on the same day, April 5.

The bridges and highways that will be privatized as a single package include; the two bridges over the Bosphorus with their ring motorways, the Edirne-İstanbul-Ankara Motorway, the Pozantı-Tarsus-Mersin Motorway, the Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep Motorway, the Toprakkale-İskenderun Motorway, the Gaziantep-Şanlıurfa Motorway, the İzmir-Çeşme Motorway, the İzmir-Aydın Motorway and the İzmir and Ankara Ring Motorways, the final bidding date being May 17.

The highway privatization 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 USD 6 billion, 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 USD 2.5 billion from the original USD 6 billion.
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