Seven Companies Express Interest to Build NIA
Kathmandu- Seven companies from six countries, including Nepal, have shown an interest to build the Nijgadh International Airport (NIA) in Bara district.
The companies from Nepal, China, India, France, Qatar, and Switzerland have submitted their proposals to the Investment Board Nepal (IBN).
An official from the IBN said that the process to shortlist the candidates is underway. “We are going through the proposals submitted by the respective firms and will submit the names of the shortlisted companies in the next full meeting of the board,” the official added, seeking anonymity.
As per the official, Matrix Enterprises of Nepal, China Airport Construction Group and China State Construction Engineering Company from China, GMR of India, Qatar Airways, Vinci Group of France and Zurich Airport of Switzerland have submitted the construction proposals of the project.
“The Nepali company has not fulfilled the basic criteria in its proposal to build NIA, whereas the other companies have presented proposals that are in line with the IBN’s expectations,” he added.
The estimated cost of the project stands at Rs 340 billion ($3 billion). The final decision regarding the construction of the airport will be made in the next board meeting chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
However, there is a major conflict between the government, political parties and the private sector on the type of construction model to be followed for the project. Some have mentioned that the government should build the project from its own resources, while others have said that since the government has no experience in building megaprojects, it needs to be assigned to a foreign company.
Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer of IBN, said that the proposals are being assessed at the moment and will be completed soon. Thereafter the final report will be presented during the full meeting of the board. “We are in the preliminary phase, hence we cannot divulge much regarding the proposals.”
Adhikari further said that they had sought proposals from interested firms to build the airport either under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer model or the public-private-partnership model.
As per the board, the airport will be built in three phases the first phase will cost $1.21 billion, the second phase $1.12 billion, and the third phase $1.12 billion. The Nijgadh International Airport is expected to be the major aerial gateway of the country after Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhairahawa airports.
Earlier, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had said the government will build the NIA at any cost, with the utilization of local resources if the project fails to spark any interest among foreign investors.
Source: Today’s Newspaper