GMR to spend $400 mn on Male airport modernisation

Saturday, 26 June 2010 10:07

GMR Infrastructure, which has bagged the expansion and management contract from the Male International Airport, today said USD 400 million would be invested on the mega project over the next four years.

The GMR Infrastructure-Malaysian Airports consortium would "invest about USD 400 million over four years" to build, operate, modernize and expand the Male International Airport (MIA), GMR chief G M Rao told reporters here today.

In response to a question, Rao said the project, estimated to be of USD 300 million, would be financed through a 75:25 debt-equity ratio.

The State Bank of India and other banks would provide the finance, he said.

"We will have the financial closure in the next six months" and it would take about four years to complete the upgradation of the airport, which would include building a large seaplane port to house about 40 such aircrafts.

In the consortium, GMR holds 77 per cent stake and Malaysian Airports the remaining 23 per cent.

On completion of the project, the Male Airport would be on a 25-year lease and the GMR-led consortium would operate it. "The mandate is for the next 25 years," he said.

"Work on the project would start in another six months," Rao said. This is the second major international airport project of GMR, the first being the Sabiha Gokcen airport at Istanbul.

Besides the Male airport, GMR has also bagged a contract to modernise and operate the Hanimaadhoo airport in the north of Maldives. With this, the group now has five airports in its portfolio. It has also bid for the Goa airport modernisation project.

The GMR-Malaysian Airports consortium won the Male project after competing with two major bidders -- Aeroport De Paris, France-TAV, Turkey consortium and the Zurich Airport- GVK consortium.

Besides a seaplane port, the Male Airport would have a capacity of handling five million passengers annually, with 12 aircraft bays. This has to be completed by 2014 and would entail operation, maintenance, expansion, rehabilitation and modernisation of the existing airport.

The GMR group is about to complete the eighth largest airport terminal in the world in Delhi with a floor space of 5.4 million square feet.


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