A judge has agreed to hear a lawsuit filed by the Mexican subsidiary of Spain's OHL against the state of Puebla for revoking its concession to build and operate a highway, company executives said.
The court in Puebla gave the go-ahead for the legal proceedings challenging the cancelation of OHL's concession - awarded in 2008 - for the "Libramiento Norte De Puebla" highway in that central state, the head of OHL Mexico, Jose Andres de Oteyza Fernandez, told Efe.
The Puebla government on May 9 announced its "surprising and unilateral" decision to revoke the concession to build and operate the 35-kilometer (22-mile) highway, OHL Mexico said.
Construction work had been scheduled to begin this month.
Puebla officials canceled the concession under the legal concept of "recovering a public good" after finding it was awarded in March 2008 without a competitive bidding process, as well as other irregularities.
Puebla Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle is a member of the governing National Action Party, or PAN, while the previous administration - which awarded the concession to OHL - was headed by Mario Marin of the main opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
OHL said the cancelation of the concession coincides with news of Moreno Valle's plans to promote an elevated viaduct over the Mexico-Veracruz highway outside Puebla.
"The Puebla government has the right to promote another project but not in the way it's doing it, with a decree that's inconsistent and full of contradictions," De Oteyza Fernandez said.
The concession contains an investment-protection clause that does not allow the auctioning of parallel toll-road projects with the same origin and destination. EFE