Private-public sector partnership for new Crete airport moves ahead; bid at 480 mln€

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 11:20

The consortium vying to build the new Crete airport is Athens-based Terna, in partnership with India’s GMR (file photo).

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By F. Zois

A bid for a new airport at the Kastelli site on Crete, in Iraklio (Herakleio) prefecture, was substantially lower than originally forecast, with a Greek-Indian consortium offering 480 million euros, nearly half that the expected 850 million euros.

The state’s share in the project, meanwhile, reaches 46 percent of the future concession, although its share of the financing also drops to 180 million euros from the 220 million, which was cited in the international tender for the concession. A tender provision lists the state’s share in the future airport at between 45 to 55 percent.

The consortium vying to build the new Crete airport is Athens-based Terna, in partnership with India’s GMR.

According to sources with knowledge of the tender and the project, the state’s share is higher than similar schemes due to the fact that the concession bid is devoid of lending. Additionally, the state will receive immediate revenues and dividends from the first year of operation – when the airport is finally built and begins operation.

Nevertheless, the tender process is reportedly moving ahead rapidly – by Greek standards – as a technical evaluation was completed last week. The financial part of the bid must now be approved, followed by the composing of the relevant concession contract, which in turn must be approved by the Court of Audit – the highest judicial bodies that examines major state contracts – and finally ratification in Parliament.

As “N” previously reported, this process is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

The current airport that serves the greater Iraklio area, one of the major tourism and holiday destinations in Greece, is second in terms of passenger traffic in the country, behind only Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport. According to civil aviation authorities, 1.359 million passengers used the airport last August, up from 1.003 million in August 2015.

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