Oman announced on Monday, May 28, that four consortia grouping local and international firms had qualified to bid for contracts to manage and operate two airports the Gulf state is privatizing.
Oman's Tender Board, in a statement obtained by Reuters, said it had culled a list of 12 consortia that had bid to run Seeb International Airport, in the capital Muscat, and Salalah airport, which is used mostly for domestic flights.
Oman offered the airports in December and in March whittled down the list of bidders from nearly 70.
A civil aviation official said the Gulf state expects the firm that wins the management contract to invest $100 million in upgrading the airports over the next 10 years.
The Tender Board named the leading members of the four consortia as British Airports Authority and its local partner Bahwan Trading Company; Denmark's Copenhagen Airport Authority, Maersk AS and local firm WJ Towell; Singapore Changi Airport, Manchester Airport, U.S. firm Bechtel with Oman's Zubair Corporation; France's Aeroports de Paris, French firm Vinci and the local Dhofar al-Omani bank and Assarain Enterprises.
Economy Ministry officials said the two airports earned some $20 million in 2000 mainly from aeronautical fees. Oman, which depends on oil for most of its income, is trying to diversify its economy through privatization.
Officials say the government would initially hold a 20 percent stake in the newly privatized company, Oman Aviation Services Company would hold five percent while the private sector would hold a 75 percent stake. ― (Reuters, Muscat)
© Reuters 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)