Understand the arrangement that allowed the resumption of duplication of BR-163 in Mato Grosso

Understand the arrangement that allowed the resumption of duplication of BR-163 in Mato Grosso
Understand the arrangement that allowed the resumption of duplication of BR-163 in Mato Grosso
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What they are sharing: video in which Mato Grosso state deputy Valdir Barranco (PT) states that the BR-163 duplication works have resumed in the state thanks to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, while state deputy Xuxu Dal Molin (União Brasil) attributes the work to the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and the government of Mato Grosso.

Estadão Verifica investigated and concluded that: there is exaggeration in both statements. Neither of them explains well the complex process surrounding the resumption of the BR-163 duplication work, which was stopped for seven years and was resumed ten months ago. Understand:

  1. The highway was handed over to Concessionária Rota do Oeste (CRO), which belonged to the Odebrecht group, in 2014, still under the government of former president Dilma Rousseff (PT)
  2. According to the company, which is now called Nova Rota do Oeste (NRO), political and economic issues prevented the majority of concessionaires from fulfilling the contracts signed at the time, and the duplication works on BR-163 were halted around seven years ago. years
  3. Between 2021 and 2022, the government of Mato Grosso began to be asked more emphatically to find a solution to the case, as the highway is fundamental to the state’s agribusiness sector.
  4. In 2022, still under Bolsonaro’s government, governor Mauro Mendes (União Brasil) and the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT), a federal agency, drew up a Conduct Adjustment Term (TAC) that allowed the state government to enter as a shareholder majority of the NRO concessionaire with MT Par, enabling the resumption of works. ANTT structured the concession project and TCU approved the term
  5. In May 2023, the new model began to operate and works resumed under the Lula government. The company responsible for the works, however, continues to be a private company and the main source of funds is toll collection. In general, these companies rely on subsidies and federal financing via the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). With a contribution of R$1.6 billion from MT Par, the NRO will be able to request financing again, which, according to the company, should be contracted soon.
First section after resumption of duplication is 15 kilometers long, located between Diamantino and Nova Mutum and was delivered on March 18, 2024. Photo: Disclosure/ANTT Photograph: Photo: Disclosure/ANTT

The two politicians who appear in the video – state deputy Valdir Barranco (PT) and former deputy Xuxu Dal Molin (União) – were contacted, but did not respond until the publication of this text.

Know more: The announcement that BR-163 would be duplicated in Mato Grosso was made ten years ago. According to Roberto Madureira, Institutional Relations manager at Nova Rota do Oeste, the highway concession contract was signed in 2014, during Dilma’s government, with CRO, which belonged to the Odebrecht group. At the same time, five other companies won concessions to operate other highways throughout Brazil.

The agreement was that, before starting to charge tolls in nine toll plazas distributed over 850 kilometers, the CRO would need to duplicate 10% of the section of BR-163 that still operated on a single lane. The works, however, did not progress. Toll collection began in 2015 and those using the highway spent seven years waiting for it to resume, which only happened in 2023.

According to Roberto Madureira, a series of political and economic factors made it impossible for most concessionaires to carry out duplication works. “This package [de concessões] was unable to perform for various reasons, political and economic crises, Lava Jato. All of this had an impact and most of these concessionaires were unable to carry out the duplication work,” he said.

According to him, there was no solution in the legislation to solve the problem and, still under the government of former president Michel Temer (MDB), the so-called Friendly Return Law was enacted, which would see concessions returned to concessionaires that were not managing to carry out the works. That, for Madureira, didn’t work out very well either. “At the time, there was nothing possible from the state government. Temer came, Bolsonaro came and no solution came,” he stated.

Between 2021 and 2022, the government of Mato Grosso found itself facing emphatic demands to provide a solution to the problem, since the highway is fundamental for agribusiness in the State, and began to seek a solution with ANTT. The federal authority confirmed to the Checks which approved the change in share control in December 2022.

Despite being approved in December 2022, the NRO began operating under the control of MT Par in May last year, and works resumed in July. Since then, the duplication of more than 170 kilometers of highway was contracted, and the first 15 kilometers were delivered on March 18, between the municipalities of Diamantino and Nova Mutum.

For Roberto Madureira, from NRO, it is not possible to remove the federal government’s merit in resolving the case. “I highlight that ANTT’s role was fundamental, it showed a boldness, a courage that is not so common in regulatory bodies, to do something that would benefit the user. So, the government participated through ANTT, without a doubt, the TCU also participated, validating the operation, but what definitely changed history was the entry of the State government,” he said.

When contacted, ANTT confirmed that the delivery took place after MT Par assumed controlling interest in NRO and that the federal body “has been monitoring the evolution of the concession contract and ensuring that all planned investments are fulfilled”. ANTT director, Luciano Lourenço, participated in the delivery of the first 15 kilometers of duplication.

The State Secretariat for Infrastructure and Logistics of Mato Grosso (Sinfra) highlighted that the duplication works are not carried out by Sinfra, but by NRO, and indicated that MT Par speak about the matter. This, in turn, directed the demand to the Nova Rota do Oeste.

Did the federal government provide resources for duplication?

No. The only financial contribution for the resumption of duplication came from the Government of Mato Grosso, but the money, explains the NRO representative, does not mean a direct investment in the work. “The role of the government would be to pay off the debts, invest around R$600 million in addition to the debts, which amounted to R$1.6 billion. This cleared up the debts, made the company healthy again and we immediately started the change of command and the duplication work”, he pointed out.

But, with the company healthy, it is likely that there will be federal investment. The company intends to soon contract financing from BNDES to carry out the works, although the resources for the duplication will come, mostly, from toll collection.

Currently, there are nine toll plazas distributed along 850 kilometers of highway in Mato Grosso, located in the municipalities of Itiquira, Rondonópolis, Campo Verde, Santo Antônio de Leverger, Jangada, Diamantino, Nova Mutum, Lucas do Rio Verde and Sorriso. The cheapest fare is R$2.60 for motorcycles in Nova Mutum, and the most expensive, R$7.60 for cars and commercial vehicles (per axle) in Jangada.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Understand arrangement allowed resumption duplication BR163 Mato Grosso

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