The government is considering extending the concession periods of highway operators to prevent toll increases. The goal is to maintain current toll rates across Peninsular Malaysia. The proposal is awaiting approval from the Cabinet and may be announced in the second half of this year. If approved, all highway operators could receive extensions of up to 30 years on their concessions. The government is currently reviewing the deal, and some companies have been informed about the potential extension.
According to a third source close to a concessionaire, the government’s interest in extending the concession periods is to prevent toll rate increases. Extending the concessions is also seen as a way to avoid compensating highway operators. The report suggests that in exchange for the extension, highway owners may be required to reduce toll rates. This approach aims to strike a balance between longer concession periods and lower toll rates.
It is not uncommon for highway operators to reduce toll rates after their concessions are extended. A recent example is when PLUS Malaysia extended its concession and reduced toll rates by 18% in February 2020. The government’s extension included a clause that prevented fare increases on all PLUSH highways until 2058. This demonstrates a precedent of toll reduction and stability in rates with extended concessions.