The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed advisory mandates with the Saudi Presidency of Civil Aviation to help mobilize private investment in two infrastructure projects at the King Abdulaziz International Airport at Jeddah.
One project will rehabilitate or replace the desalination plant that supplies water to the airport. Currently, water supply to the airport is expensive, unreliable, and insufficient to cover future demand. Through private sector participation, the project will bring the investments and efficiency that are needed to resolve these problems.
The other project will help expand the existing Hajj terminal, which is dedicated to religious tourism. The facilities at the airport are insufficient to meet growing passenger traffic, both in terms of capacity and quality of services. The project will improve the quality of Hajj travel by using private sector participation to rehabilitate and operate the terminal.
IFC’s role is to advise on structuring and implementing these projects through a fair, transparent, and competitive bidding process. These projects are expected to create a model for further public private partnerships in Saudi Arabia
“Successful implementation of these projects will encourage private sector investments in Saudi Arabia,” said IFC regional director Sami Haddad. “We are pleased to support this process with IFC’s global infrastructure experience and commitment to achieving high standards and social benefits.”
IFC’s Advisory Services director Bernard Sheahan added, “By bringing in private sector participation, we will help ensure substantial improvements in the cost and quality of the airport’s infrastructure.” (menareport.com)