October 5, 2016 / 1:17 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Greece kickstarts tender for toll road lease

(Adds details of the lease, financial advisers)

ATHENS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Greece launched a process on Wednesday for the lease of Egnatia Motorway, a major trade route linking the country from east to west, and part of a bailout agreed with its international lenders.

Kickstarting the process for the long-term lease over the 670 km Egnatia toll road, the country’s privatisation agency HRADF said it would invite a public consultation process, culminating in the invitation of non-binding expressions of interest in the project by Dec. 20.

The duration of the lease over the motorway, which crosses through eleven major Greek cities in northern Greece, is 35 years.

The objectives of the consultation would be to gauge the level of interest in the project, and solicit ideas and views on how the project could be optimised, HRADF said.

“Binding offers shall be submitted in November 2017,” HRADF said in a statement. It said it expected the tender process to be concluded at the end of next year.

Egnatia is a major trade route in the Balkans, linking Igoumenitsa port in eastern Greece to the Greek-Turkish border to the west.

Greece’s Alpha Bank were financial advisers to the project.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Louise Heavens

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