Spanish companies Acciona, Isolux Corsan and Copasa on Thursday signed contracts to build parts of a beltway around Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city.

The northern stretch of the Mario Covas ring road is "a great project for Sao Paulo and for Brazil" because it will allow the beltway to be completed after being under construction for a decade, Sao Paulo state Gov. Geraldo Alckmin said at the signing ceremony.

He also emphasized that soliciting international bidders resulted in savings of 1.2 billion reais ($604 billion) from the project's initial budget.

Acciona won the right to build 21 kilometers (13 miles) of the roadway, almost half the project, with a bid of $708 million, the Sao Paulo state government said.

Isolux Corsan submitted a bid for $326 million to build another beltway section 6.2 km (3.8 mi.) long, while Copasa bid $325 million and won the right to build 7.8 km (4.8 mi.) of the road.

The other two portions of the beltway, totaling 8.5 km (5.3 mi.), will be built by Brazilian firm OAS, who submitted a bid of about $606 million. EFE