Wed | Apr 1, 2020

JIO to continue managing Highway 2000

Published:Sunday | February 23, 2020 | 12:13 AM

Cars pass through the toll point at Portmore along Highway 2000.
Cars pass through the toll point at Portmore along Highway 2000.

Jamaica has issued a five-year operations and maintenance contract for the Highway 2000 East-West corridor to French company Jamaica Infrastructure Operators, JIO, which will get a three per cent cut of revenues along with a monthly fee.

JIO will essentially continue a role it performed for 17 years under the former owners of TransJamaican Highway Limited, primarily Bouygues Travaux Publics and Vinci Concessions.

The two French companies, which sold TransJamaican Highway to the Jamaican Government last December, remain joint owners of JIO.

Wilfred Baghaloo, a consultant on the divestment of TransJamaican Highway, told the Financial Gleaner that the fee structure under the new contract remains the same as when its French owners held the highway concession.

US $14M Fees

“Total fees are approximately US$14 million,” said Baghaloo, a director of auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Jamaica.

That’s the estimate based on the 2019 data, which projects revenue of US$53.3 million.

Over the past five years, since 2015, fees paid to JIO have climbed 27 per cent from US$11 million, but revenue climbed even faster by 40 per cent from US$38.2 million.

Baghaloo said that JIO has about 200 employees, while TransJamaican Highway has nine staff. The fees earned by the infrastructure company will fund the maintenance of the highway, and pay salaries.

The JIO contract to operate and manage the highway was agreed to initially in September 2003.

The East-West corridor of Highway 2000 has four toll plazas – at May Pen, Clarendon; and at Vineyards, Spanish Town, and Portmore in St Catherine – through which a combined 24 million vehicles passed last year.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com