Mumbai, (The Hindu): Come September, airport operator GVK will finalise bids for works for the Navi Mumbai International Airport project, including construction of the terminal building, runway, taxiway, apron, air side and land side infrastructure. The government has set a target for December 2021 for the work.
GVK, which also operates the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), has set a September 10 cut-off date for bidders. In the expression of interest sought from engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited has listed the scope of work to include cut and fill work; construction of terminal building; airfield work, including runway, taxiway and apron; other air side infrastructure and facilities; and land side infrastructure, including roadway network ancillary buildings, multilevel car park and utilities.
The Navi Mumbai International Airport is being developed under a public-private partnership model between GVK Group subsidiary Mumbai International Airport and City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) as the implementing agency. It will be spread over 1,160 hectare comprising a river, several smaller water bodies and hills. The Rs. 16,000-crore project is expected to be fully ready by 2023.
With elections slated for next year, the government wants to complete the airport ahead of December 2019 to showcase it as one of its achievements. A spokesperson for CIDCO said the agency is on track to complete at least a terminal and a runway by the end of 2019.
However, an official associated with the project said, “The pre-development work is yet to be completed. It is very tough to complete one runway and operationalise a terminal building with staff by 2019.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, a GVK spokesperson termed reports of it trying to divest its stake in the Mumbai airport as “mere speculation”. Media reports suggested that GVK was divesting its stake to raise money for the Navi Mumbai project.
South Africa’s Bidvest Group, meanwhile, confirmed that it is looking to offload its stake of about 13.5%.
The reports claimed that GVK was in talks with at least four companies to sell a significant minority stake in MIAL. Four potential bidders, namely Singapore’s Changi Airport, German airport operator AviAlliance, India’s sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, were said to be in advanced negotiations for the company’s stake.
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