Three construction companies belonging to three billionaire businessmen have emerged as contenders to build the first section of Moscow's Central Ring Road, which is expected to cost 52 billion rubles ($1.5 billion), Vedomosti reported Monday.
Applications to participate in the tender have been submitted by ARKS, a construction company co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, Aras Agalarov's Crocus Group, and Stroigazconsulting, which belongs to Ziyad Manasir.
The tender was set to take place in December, but was postponed on the orders of Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who ordered an audit of the Central Ring Road project. The government thinks that a new tender — earmarked for April — will attract more applications and greater competition.
The three companies will wait until the results of the audit are revealed before making final decisions to take part in the second tender, Lenta.ru reported.
The state will invest 45.6 billion rubles in the first section of the Central Ring Road, with the remaining 6.8 billion rubles being sought from private investors.
After April's tender, government officials and contractors will sign an investment agreement and construction will get under way later this year.
The first section will run through New Moscow, the Podolsk district and the Naro-Fominsky district to the southwest of Moscow.
When finished, the Central Ring Road will be 339 kilometers long. It should be ready by 2018 at an overall cost of 150 billion rubles.
For the most part, it will be built along the route of the existing Small Moscow Ring Road in the Moscow region and motorists will have to pay a toll to use it. Toll fees have not yet been set.