Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Highway developers not guaranteed set toll revenue - NROCC

Published:Wednesday | May 3, 2017 | 5:02 PM
Anderson ... profit is not expected to be realised on North-South Highway for at least another 20 years.

The National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC) Limited says the Government has not guaranteed developers of the North South Highway a set revenue from tolls.

CEO of the indebted agency, Ivan Anderson, told Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) this morning that the only things that influence the toll charges are the US inflation rate and devaluation of the Jamaican currency.

NROCC is the government entity set up in 2002 to implement the Highway 2000 project.

One of the latest legs opened was the North South highway, developed through a 50-year concession agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company. 

The 66-kilometre highway spans Caymanas in St Catherine to Mammee Bay in St Ann.

Anderson noted that the Chinese were responsible for the full financing of the highway with Jamaica providing lands for development to compensate for the decision not to provide cash.

But Anderson said profit is not expected to be realised for at least another 20 years.

He told the PAAC that the developers are making US$18 million per year in revenue.

But he said that is eaten away by a yearly US$30 million debt-servicing cost and an additional US$15 million in operation costs.

According to the NROCC head, approximately 12,000 vehicles use the highway per day.

Meanwhile, Anderson said the completion certificate is yet to be issued although the highway was fully opened last year.

The delay has been caused by repair works that had to be done last year, which Anderson said ended last month.