Rwanda signs $818 mln deal for new international airport

Fri Sep 2, 2016 7:16am GMT
 

By Clement Uwiringiyimana

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwanda has signed a deal with the African division of Portuguese construction firm Mota-Engil to build an international airport at a cost of $818 million, the company and government officials said.

They said the first phase of the airport, which is part of a push to attract more tourists and boost Rwanda as a conference destination, would cost $418 million and is expected to start in June next year and be completed by December 2018.

Rwanda's plans for the new Bugesera International Airport date back to 2011 when it first announced it was seeking bids from the private sector to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the airport through a 25-year concession.

"The first phase is for 1.7 million passengers (per year) capacity and it gets all infrastructure associated for $418 million," Mota-Engil Africa Chief Executive Officer Manuel Antonio Mota told reporters late on Thursday after signing an agreement with government officials.

Rwanda said in a statement that Mota-Engil would operate the airport for 25 years, with an option to extend another 15 years.

When it first sought bids, the government said the first phase would involve building passenger and cargo terminals and a 4.2 km runway to handle large commercial airplanes, while the second phase would be for a second runway and more terminals.

Mota-Engil said the second phase costing $400 million was expected to raise the airport's handling capacity to 4.5 million passengers per year.

Neither Mota-Engil nor the government said when the second phase would start.   Continued...

Rwandan troops who have returned  from the Sudan's Darfur region walk past the U.S. Air Force One at Kigali International airport, file. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
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