Turkish gov't compensates private sector for 'unused highways'

Ankara will be paying private construction companies bi-annually for any difference in actual revenue and projected revenue under the build-operate-transfer contracts. Operators of the massive construction projects, including Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge, received payments annually before the shock to the Turkish Lira against the dollar in 2018.

Duvar English

The Turkish government will be paying private construction companies compensation for the reduced use of the major highway projects that were built under build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts over the past few years, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 8.

The third bridge over Istanbul's Bosphorus, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the Osmangazi Bridge over İzmit Bay, the Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir that promises to significantly shorten the trip on this route and finally the Avrasya Tunnel underneath Istanbul Bosphorus were all built under BOT contracts.

Ankara signed off to compensate any difference between actual revenue and the projected revenue for a season on the constructs under a "guaranteed vehicle passage payment" clause, as all the routes are subject to significant fees that allow the private firms to profit.

Following the shock to the Turkish Lira's value against the dollar in 2018, Ankara switched to bi-annual payments to the firms instead of annual ones, a system that's maintained today, when the lira has sunk to record levels against the greenback.

The İÇTAŞ–Astaldi partnership that operates Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge was paid 1.75 billion liras in July of 2020 for the first half of the year, with the payment for the second half scheduled for January of 2021.

Operator of the Osmangazi Bridge and the Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir Highway, Otoyol Yatırım AŞ is reportedly awaiting a payment of the same amount in the upcoming weeks. The second payment for this operator is scheduled for March 2021.

The private-run highways will reportedly be receiving bi-annual payments for the foreseeable future.