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BR Government reduced airport concessions grants

With fewer passengers and cargo, due to the pandemic, the minimum grant amount for the 22 airports to be auctioned by the federal government at the beginning of next year was reduced by R $ 280 million, and the investments required from the future concessionaires decreased by R $ 850 million.

The Ministry of Infrastructure updated the demand projections for the sixth round of airport concessions. That made these adjustments to incorporate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic over the 30-year duration of the contracts. The government’s objective is to maintain the attractiveness of assets for potential investors, recognizing that they are likely to earn less in the face of the new environment.

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Three lots are on offer: the North Block (highlighting Manaus), the South Block (which has Curitiba as its flagship), and the Central Block (with Goiânia at the head).

Initially, the plan was to bid on them in the fourth quarter of this year. Because of the need for adjustments resulting from the pandemic, in addition to difficulties in technical visits by interested groups, the auction schedule “slipped” to the beginning of 2021.

The updated projections indicate that the gross revenues of future concessionaires will be R $ 3.3 billion less than the value initially estimated. As a result of the lower movement of passengers and cargo, especially in the first years of the concession, the forecast of how much they will collect during the decades of the contract fell from R $ 17.8 billion to R $ 13.5 billion. Tariff and commercial revenues. Less revenue means lower grant value as well.

The bidding makes the dispute, and the winner is the one who offers the highest premium in each lot. However, the initial value of the auctions is being reduced from R $ 408.2 million to R $ 133.4 million in the South Block and from R $ 22.5 million in the Central Block. For the Northern Bloc, the new studies raised the minimum grant bid from R $ 38.7 million to R $ 48.2 million.

This only happened, in the case of Manaus and the other airports included in this lot, because the Federal Government decided to assume part of the “Zona Franca risk.” A new mechanism in the concession contract provides that, in the event of changes in the specific tax regime of the Manaus industrial pole, eventual reductions in cargo transported by air generate discounts on the variable contributions due to the government.

This risk-sharing mechanism will be valid as of the fifth year of the contract and the possibility of applying a discount of up to 80% of the “variable grant” – a part of the gross revenue earned by each concessionaire that goes to the federal coffers.

All proposals for changes are being placed in a complementary public consultation, which was approved today by the collegiate board of the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) for 12 days. A first consultation took place between February and March. As it was done before the pandemic and in order not to waste time, in July, the government decided to send the feasibility studies for the concessions for analysis by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) with a commitment to update some assumptions.

In addition to Manaus, the North Block also has the airports of Tabatinga and Tefé (AM), Rio Branco and Cruzeiro do Sul (AC), Porto Velho (RO) and Boa Vista (RR). Nine terminals are part of the South Block: Curitiba, Foz do Iguaçu, Londrina and Bacacheri (PR), Joinville and Navegantes (SC), Pelotas, Uruguaiana and Bagé (RS). The Central Block is formed by Goiânia, Palmas (TO), Teresina (PI), Petrolina (PE) and São Luís and Imperatriz (MA).

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