Zurich Airport outbids DIAL and Adani to develop India’s largest airport at Jewar

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Published: November 30, 2019 11:26:11 AM

The airport will come up in 5,000 hectare area when fully constructed and is estimated to cost Rs 29,560 crore.

zurich airport, jewar airportZurich Airport International will build and manage the new greenfield airport in Jewar under a 40-year concession. (Representative image)

Swiss company Zurich Airport International has outbid Adani group and GMR group-led consortium DIAL to emerge as the highest bidder for the proposed Greenfield international airport at Jewar.

GMR, which runs the Delhi International Airport (DIAL), had the first right of refusal (RoFR) if the difference between its bid and the highest bidder was within 10%. This not being the case, the RoFR clause became redundant.

The Noida International Airport (NIAL) on Friday selected Zurich International as the concessionaire for developing the Jewar airport, in Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. The airport, the second in the NCR, is set to be the biggest airport in India upon completion.

Four bidders — Delhi International Airport (DIAL), Zurich International, Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holdings and Adani Enterprise — were in the fray. In the financial bids for the project, which were opened on Friday, Zurich International offered the highest revenue share per passenger of `400.97 against Adani’s bid of `360 per passenger. DIAL offered `351 per passenger while Anchorage’s offer was Rs 205 per passenger.

Talking to FE, Shailendra Bhatia, nodal officer of Noida Airport project, said Zurich International has been selected as a successful company as it offered the best price.

“The project would now be put up before the project monitoring and implementation committee, which will meet on December 2, after which it will be sent to the UP Cabinet for its approval”.

The airport will come up in 5,000 hectare area when fully constructed and is estimated to cost Rs 29,560 crore. The airport will have six to eight runways, the most in India, when fully built, according to officials.

According to sources in NIAL, the first phase of the project would be spread over 1,334 hectare and cost Rs 4,588 crore as it is expected to be completed by 2023. It would handle nearly 12 million passengers per year and will go a long way in not only easing Delhi airport’s air traffic congestion and also boost the stagnant real estate prices.

The second phase of the Jewar Airport project is due to be completed by FY31 and will increase the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers per year, while the third and fourth phase are due to be finished by FY36 and FY40, respectively, and further boost the capacity to 50 million passengers and 70 million passengers, respectively.

Zurich Airport International will build and manage the new greenfield airport in Jewar under a 40-year concession. The construction process will require a total investment of Swiss Franc 650 million (`4,663.731 crore) during its first phase, which will take four years to complete.

Commenting on the bid outcome, Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, director, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory, said the emergence of an international developer as the preferred bidder is a positive development for the sector. “It will be important that all the external connectivity are addressed on a war footing and an unencumbered site for development is also given to the concessionaire at the earliest”.

It may be mentioned that Zurich International had developed Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International airport in partnership with other companies and exited from the project in 2017 and has also developed eight airports in Latin America and one in Zurich.

“We are happy to work in Uttar Pradesh as this region has a huge potential. This region has infrastructure, traffic and big catchment area,” said Daniel Bircher CEO of Zurich Airport.

The airport project, which has been in the works for almost two decades now, was first proposed in 2001 by the then chief minister Rajnath Singh as the greenfield Taj international airport and aviation hub (TIAH).
However, the project was put on the backburner until 2008 when the then UP chief minister Mayawati took up the project and got site clearances and approvals from the ministry of defence. But the project got stuck in red tape for many years and the project continued to remain only on paper.

“We have completed the required paperwork related to this project as per the timelines fixed to ensure that every process is completed exactly as stipulated. Be it land acquisition or getting clearances or the issuance of bid or selection of bidder, every single thing has happened as per the timelines fixed. Now, the work on this project will also start as per the fixed time frame,” said Shailendra Bhatia.

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