Firms to scramble for new M50 contract
The National Roads Authority (NRA) is seeking firms to bid for a new estimated €155m 11-year contract to provide eflow toll services on the M50 until 2029.
Around 115,000 vehicles pass the M50 toll every day and toll revenues of €110m are generated annually.
The contract has proved very profitable for the French consortium that has operated the toll since the barrier less eflow system came into operation in 2008.
Accounts lodged by the operator, Sanef ITS Operations Ireland, show that it recorded pre-tax profits of €2.79m in 2013. This followed pre-tax profits of €2.9m in 2012. The firm achieved the profits in 2013 after recording a gross profit of €6.09m.
In 2007, the firm - then known as BetEireFlow - was awarded the initial eight-year contract of €113m by the NRA and the €155m estimate for the new contract is based on the value of the original contract.
The new contract may be significantly more than the estimated €155m as the NRA in its tender has left the door open for the introduction of new tolls across its road network.
The NRA tender states that it is seeking "tolling operation services for the next-generation M50 eFlow Tolling Operations Contract, which may include any toll points which the authority may introduce and/or operate in future on the road network in Ireland".
Sanef's current deal, which included an option to extend the original contract, expires in March 2018 and the new 11-year contract will commence then and includes an option to extend by a further four years.
The firm handles 43m toll transactions annually with 2m unique drivers passing through the toll location each year.
Firms seeking the work have until September to lodge their application to qualify as a tenderer. The NRA will seek tenders from the qualified firms in October and award the contract in October 2016.