The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos , has announced the relaunching "shortly" in Spain of the concession contracts to build and maintain infrastructures with the concurrence of the investment of private companies , a contracting model practically in disuse since 2012.

Ábalos assured that he has already designed the new concession system to be able to tackle "priority projects" that, he says, guarantee the "balance of risks and viability" of the works, and that it has been agreed with the Ministry of Finance and with Brussels . "In these months, we have advanced to close with the Ministry of Finance and the European authorities, with Eurostat, a model that balances risks and that will make it possible to develop concrete projects in a short time," the minister announced during his appearance in the Senate.

Ábalos thus expressed his commitment to "continue exploring those collaboration formulas with the private sector through concession contracts that allow addressing priority actions, but always safeguarding the future viability of these formulas."

Under the concession contracts, the construction companies advance the investment to build an infrastructure and later recover it during its operation, either by charging tolls to the users or an annual fee from the Administration.

Recovery lever

The minister counts on the collaboration of collaboration and private investment to promote public works as one of the levers of the crisis recovery plan.

In fact, he indicated that among the measures that his Department will include in the Investment and Reform Plan that the Government is preparing to promote recovery, there is a shock plan to reform the security and conservation of infrastructure and transport services.

It also has the private initiative for its public land transfer plan to build rental housing . "Private initiative will be a basic and fundamental ally, otherwise we will not be able to raise the investment required by the plan," he said.

With the return of the concession contracts, one of Seopan's main demands is also met , the employers' association of large construction companies and concessionaires.

The last PP government tried to launch a road construction plan with this type of contract that ultimately did not prosper due to the doubts that profitability presented to companies.

Likewise, the concession model was affected by the bankruptcy during the previous crisis of nine toll highways, which the State finally had to 'rescue'.


Regarding the recovery of the concession contract with guarantees and to avoid cases such as those of these routes, the sector considers that it requires regulatory changes, especially regarding the risk sharing of contracts and their rates of return, in addition to reinforcing its legal security.

The employer especially stresses the last aspect so that foreign investment remains interested in Spain, and the country benefits from "the liquidity currently exists in the market."

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