GVK-led MIAL Wins Bid for Navi Mumbai Airport
Co that runs city’s existing airport beats GMR Infra by offering a higher revenue to Cidco
Mumbai: A consortium that runs the existing airport serving Mumbai has won the bid to build another in the distant suburbs of Navi Mumbai, marking a milestone in the much-delayed .₹ 16,000-crore project that aims to decongest the skies above India’s commercial nerve-center. In a two-pony race, Mumbai International Airport Ltd ( MIAL) outran GMR Infrastructure, offering a higher revenue share to the provincial government-owned city-builder, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). GMR offered a 10.44% share of revenue to Cidco, while the GVKled MIAL offered 12.60%, Cidco said in a press release.
Neither MIAL chief Rajeev Jain nor GVK MD Sanjay Reddy made any comment on how MIAL plans to fund the project, of which MIAL will hold 74%, with Cidco owning the remaining equity.
A report on qualified bids will be sent to the Project Monitoring and Implementation Committee, Ministry of Civil Aviation and then to state cabinet for its approval, Cidco said in its statement. Thereafter, the winning bidder will be given 180 days for achieving financial closure of the project, said Bhushan Gagrani, chairman of Cidco.
Weeks before the final bid, three of four shortlisted bidders for the project had written to Cidco, the nodal authority for the project, saying they want to opt out citing long-unresolved issues such an incomplete resettlement of families in that area and delays in completing pre-development work. They also raised the issue of an unviable repayment structure for the soft loans raised for pre-development.
The three bidders to opt out were GMR Infrastructure, Tata Realty & Infrastructure and the Hiranandani Group along with their venture partners, potentially leaving only MIAL in the race at one point. GMR later came back into the race and submitted financial bids.
Gagrani said most of the issues raised by the bidders were clarified before the financial bids were invited.
The airport is seen as a critical alternative to the congested airport in the city.
The government had initially approved setting up the airport in 2007, but the project ran into several environmental and land acquisition problems until the last stages of the final bid. Each stage has been delayed for months, pending clearances and procedural clarity. MIAL, which runs Mumbai’s exiting airport in the city’s northern suburbs, consists of GVK Industries Ltd, Airports Company South Africa and Bidvest. They together hold 74% of the existing Mumbai airport and the state-run Airports Authority of India holds the rest. The Navi Mumbai airport project is likely to be completed in four phases ultimately giving it an annual capacity to handle 60 million passengers. The airport will span an area of 2,867 acres, with a terminal building of 523,000 square meters and two runways.