• GMR Airports bids for Rs 4,000-crore greenfield project in Greece

    GMR Airports Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infra, Thursday bid for a EUR550 million (Rs 4,000 crore) greenfield airport project in Crete island at Greece, a person in the know told ET.

    GMR is the single bidder for the Kasteli airport project which entails just a one-stage bid encompassing techinical and financial qualifications. The company is likely to be awarded the project in 2-3 weeks, the person who didn’t want to be identified, told ET.

    The last date of submitting the bids was today. It has been extended several times since February.

    GMR has tied up with Greek infrastructure major GEK Terna Holding Real Estate Construction for the project, the person said. GEK will hold 90% of the project while GMR will control the rest. The concession period is for 35 years and will be based on the build operate and transfer model.

    A spokesman at GEK Terna confirmed the development, the partnership and the shareholding structure in response to an emailed query.

    The new airport is to replace the ageing Heraklion airport in the city which is likely to be shut.

    The Kasteli airport project is said to be a test of investor interest in projects in Greece, which is financially struggling and has recently signed up for its third round of bailout from the European Union.

    But Crete is a major tourist destination and the Heraklion airport had been a gateway for 15%-20% of tourist arrivals to the country. Last year, tourist arrivals to Greece increased by 5.7% to over 15 million.

    Global media reports said that France’s Vinci along with Greece’s Ellaktor and Spain’s ACS were interested in the project.

    Reports also cited China State Construction Engineering in a joint venture with Zurich Airport as interested in the project. ET couldn’t independently ascertain the veracity of the reports.

    GMR Airports in August won the competitive bid for development and operation of the Rs 3,000 crore Mopa Greenfield Airport in North Goa. The concession period for the greenfield project will be 40 years with a possible extension of another 20 years through a bid process. The airport will also be built under the BOT model.

    GMR operates airports in Delhi and Hyderabad. The conglomerate is also developing the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Philippines and has in the past developed an airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Earlier in the day, GMR said it won a compensation of $270 million (Rs 1,800 crore) in the outcome of a legal dispute over an airport project in Male, Maldives. Howie Kendrick Womens Jersey

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