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Asset Monetization Programme: CDPQ-backed Maple Highways acquires Eastern Peripheral Expressway encircling NCR for Rs 6,267 cr
Asset Monetization
Image tweeted by @NHAI_Official

Asset Monetization Programme: CDPQ-backed Maple Highways acquires Eastern Peripheral Expressway encircling NCR for Rs 6,267 cr

| @indiablooms | 11 Nov 2022, 11:41 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: Maple Highways, a dedicated India road investment platform created by global investment group CDPQ, Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) that encircles the National Capital Region (NCR).

Valued at Rs 6,267 crore, the purchase of the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) project from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is the largest road transaction to occur as part of the Union government’s Asset Monetization Programme this year, according to a joint press release by CDPQ and Maple Highways.

The 135 km six-lane express highway has been in operation since 2018 and was designed to decongest Delhi of commercial traffic, and runs through the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh down the eastern side of the NCR. All lighting and other utilities along the expressway are fully solar-powered.

Popularly known as National Expressway 2, EPE is India’s first Intelligent Transport System (ITS) enabled road.

It is equipped with a drip irrigation system and rainwater harvesting structures every 500 metres.

It has a closed loop tolling system and 99 percent of its revenue is collected through electronic tolling, using the interoperable RFID tag, known to millions of drivers as FASTag.

For CDPQ, the acquisition is a major step forward in building a scaled portfolio of strategically located, long-term revenue generating road assets in India, the release said.

Earlier this year, Maple Highways also completed the acquisition of the Shree Jagannath Expressway, a 67-kilometre toll road project from Bhubaneswar to Chandikhole, in Odisha, eastern India.

Indian highways represent a large and growing market opportunity, with a robust pipeline that includes the government’s ongoing road monetization programme, TOT, a hybrid annuity model of toll roads aimed at accelerating public-private partnerships, as well as Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) models.

In creating one of India’s first independent, dedicated road Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvIT), CDPQ has also chosen to bring domestic capital alongside itself, drawing interest from leading investors such as IIFL AMC and the family office of the Taparia family of Famy Care Group in an emerging infrastructure asset class in India, the release said.

CDPQ Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure Emmanuel Jaclot said: “Quality highways ensure the Indian economy continues to move and grow. Founded by CDPQ in 2021, Maple Highways combines road infrastructure expertise and a commitment to ESG, and brings together assets that offer long-term value to our investors.

"As the reconfiguration of global supply chains accelerates and the volume of goods increases in India, we look forward to further developing our roads portfolio.”

Maple Highways CEO Anup Vikal added: “Maple Highways is a truly differentiated platform, a relatively new model for investor-backed InvITs to own, operate and improve India’s highways.

"As the new custodian of EPE, Maple Highways will seek to build on the expressway’s strong environmental credentials, while benefiting from CDPQ’s leading experience in the roads sector, including industry-leading highway management technology practices, and its sharp focus on ESG.”

Maple Highways and CDPQ continue to explore opportunities that offer long-term shareholder value by sourcing mature toll road assets with established traffic, long residual lives and stable cash flows, the compaies said.

CDPQ is the second-largest institutional investor in infrastructure globally, with net assets of CAD 45 billion in its infrastructure portfolio, including in India, which remains a strategically important market for CDPQ given the country’s long-term growth potential and infrastructure needs.

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