Five international groups short-listed to build new Cyprus airports
The Cyprus government on Wednesday, November 14 short-listed five international consortia to build and operate Larnaca and Paphos airports at an estimated construction cost of $310 million.
"Following a high-quality response, we are delighted to proceed to the detailed tender stage with five consortia, containing some of the leading airport sector companies in the world," Communications Minister Averof Neophytou told a news conference.
The five consortia selected represent major airport operators from Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Spain, with major Cypriot companies backing four of them. They are the Alterra Consortium, including Manchester and Singapore Changi Airports, Cyprus Gateway Airports with Airport Consulting Vienna, Frankfurt's Fraport AG with Parsons Brinkerhoff, Hermes Airports with Aer Rianta International and Project Pegasus with Spain's Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras.
Final conditions of the tender will be submitted to the candidates by the end of December and a winner announced in September 2002, said Neophytou. Among the high profile companies which failed to be short-listed were Copenhagen Airports, J and P consortium with BAA International and Airports Co. South Africa.
The project is to build a completely new Paphos airport on the west coast by December 2004 and then to inaugurate a state-of-the-art Larnaca airport towards the end of 2005. Under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme on a 20-year contract, the government aims to almost double total annual capacity to 10 million passengers over the next 15-20 years.
The government is estimated to receive around $940 million in fees from the operators during the BOT contract period. Larnaca, the main gateway to the tourist island in the eastern Mediterranean, aims to raise capacity to more than eight million people, from the current level of 4.5 million.
Cyprus is enjoying a tourism boom with a record 2.7 million visitors last year expected to rise to four million by 2005 — (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)