F model

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The F-model is a public-private partnership model for engineering structures (bridges, tunnels, mountain passes) according to the German highway construction private financing law (FStrPrivFinG).

Business model and criticism

The operator takes on the functions of "implementation planning", "construction", "financing", "maintenance", "private operation", "assuming the traffic volume risk" and "toll management". For this reason, this model is included in the category of operator models (BOT).

Motorways are not built by the administration, but privately awarded in a tendering process (market prices). On average, one kilometer of motorway generates around 11 million euros in construction investments. The maintenance and operation of a federal motorway costs an average of around 100,000 euros per km and year. At the same time, the federal government has significantly better refinancing costs than any PPP company. If the federal government receives financing that is one percentage point cheaper than the PPP company, the additional interest burden on the PPP company is already higher than the total operating and maintenance costs. The costs of contract management and the additional VAT are not even taken into account. In this respect, the question arises whether PPP projects in road construction can even be economical. The results in practice confirm the doubt (if one reads the articles e.g. on the tunnel mentioned below).

Financing is provided through a toll that the licensee charges for use and start-up financing from the state.

The concessionaire acquires the right to demand tolls from users for the use of the engineering structure it has built. After a certain period of time (usually 30 years), the license reverts to the state.

The concessionaire's income is based on toll revenues (cars and trucks) and up to 20 percent state start-up funding. Because of the great importance of the toll, reliable traffic volume forecasts are very important. However, as has been shown in the past and abroad, traffic volumes are often overestimated.

To reduce the risk of the amount of traffic for the concessionaire , it would be e.g. B. conceivable to use a concession model with a variable term. Then the concessionaire would keep the concession longer when there was little traffic and would at least be able to limit its losses. Nonetheless, an investor has the disadvantage compared to the state that he cannot diversify his risk to the same extent as the state with its large motorway network. This can lead to excessive risk premiums for private investors.

Critics accuse the F-Model of having been designed at the expense of road users. Ultimately, all costs can be passed on to the users as long as the costs remain below the benefit. This can lead to “golden guard rails” (cost push).


According to the F-model, the Warnow tunnel near Rostock went into operation on September 12, 2003 and the Herrentunnel in Lübeck on August 26, 2005.

The Strelasund crossing was initially intended as an F-model. After many setbacks and the cancellation of the tender on April 29, 2003, in which the federal government lacked usable offers, it was built conventionally until 2007. The Hochmosel crossing was planned as an F-model. The prequalification was lifted on February 26, 2003 due to legal planning problems and in 2009 full state funding was decided.

Legal bases

The relevant legal bases are:


Individual evidence

  1. cf. Road construction report 2005, p. 6: 194.9 km resulted in investments of 2215 million euros
  2. cf. Road construction report 2005, p. 50
  3. a b Differences between the operator model variants

See also