The National Highways Authority (NHA) says it is to invite private developers to identify and develop road building projects throughout the country. The authority was expected to place an advertisement in the local and international press on 13 June, inviting proposals for the development of toll roads on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

The NHA estimates that the road network requires investment of about $4,000 million to build an additional 100,000 kilometres. Major cities including Lahore and Karachi require by-passes, expanding towns need new roads to combat congestion and smaller population centres require links to the road network, the NHA says.

Developers submitting proposals that receive NHA approval will first be given a letter of exclusivity, granting three months in which to develop the proposal further. The next stage would be a letter of intent from the NHA, to be followed by the signing of an implementation agreement. A three-month period would then be allowed for the developer to reach financial close. The NHA says that it will provide protection for the developer’s investment. This could take the form of a guaranteed income or minimum traffic flow.

The NHA has already identified a number of projects to be implemented on a BOT basis. More than 60 applications for prequalification for the construction of eight roads and a rail bridge have been received. The NHA has also extended the deadline for receiving such applications to 30 June, on the request of potential developers. Expressions of interest in a $87 million motorway from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad were due to be opened on 12 June (MEED 23:5:97).