GMR Infra, Fairfax, Zurich Airport And Adani In Final Race to Build Jewar AirportWith 66 million passengers in 2018-19 and no place for expansion, Delhi International Airport is soon nearing its saturation (Representative Image) (Rehman Abubakr/Wikimedia Commons)

Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), Prem Watsa-owned Fairfax India Holdings Corp , GMR Infrastructure Ltd and Zurich Airport are in the final race to be selected as the developer of India’s next mega airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh, which when completed will be the country’s largest with as many as six runways, Mint reported.

Estimated to cost around Rs 16,000 crore, the development work of the project will commence in early 2020 and the first phase expected to be completed by 2023.

The 1,334 hectare proposed site of the greenfield airport is located north of Jewar Village, in Gautam Buddh Nagardistrict of Uttar Pradesh.

While the last date to file a tender for the project is 30 October, the Uttar Pradesh government is set to open the technical bids on 6 November, and financial bids will be opened on 29 November.

The developer for the airport will be finalised and awarded the contract in January 2020. Earlier in May this year, Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) invited international competitive bids from the eligible contractors for the ‘Development of Jewar International Airport or Greenfield Noida International Airport.

As many as 20 national and international companies had expressed keen interest to bid as the developer for the Jewar international airport project so far. However only 4 firms - Adani Group, GMR controlled Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings of Prem Watsa, and Zurich airport operator Flughafen Zurich AG - have reportedely qualified for the final bid.

Business Standard quoted Shailendra Bhatia, officer on special duty, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) — the implementing agency of the airport as saying “We have seen a good response. Four firms have submitted bids, which is very encouraging since Jewar is a greenfield airport. The bidding will be made on per passenger basis, and will be completed in a single stage. The tender will be finalised on November 29,”

Bhatia however refused to disclose the participating entities. “Development work is likely to commence early in 2020 and the first phase expected to be completed by 2023,”

The winning bid will be decided on the basis of the highest monthly per-passenger fee that the concessionaire will offer to the state government.

Given that the infrastructure major GMR is vested with the right of first refusal (RoFR) for any airport that is built within an aerial radius of 150-km of the existing airport in Delhi, it was always expected to place a bid for the project.

Prem Watsa’s Fairfax group, which owns and opeartes the Bangalore Airport, has also been aggressive plans to invest in Indian infrastructure projects.

Adani Group has been agressively foraying in to the airport space. The group had recently emerged the winner in the privatisation of five out of six <a put up by the government, outbidding a slew of national and international competitors including GMR, AMP Capital and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

The group has won the right to upgrade and operate the airports of Lucknow, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru and Ahmedabad by winning bids offering the higher payment for passenger fee to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Also Read: India’s Next Mega Airport Is Going To Be Built By Uttar Pradesh; Here Are All The Details

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