Seven prequalified companies have been given until 31 January to submit proposals for the 40-year build-transfer-operate (BTO) concession on the estimated $450 million airport project in the central region of Enfidha.

According to local legislation, build-operate-transfer (BOT) concessions are prohibited. Under a BTO scheme, once construction is complete the selected contractor must transfer the project to the government before it can start operating the airport.

The planned airport is located 50 kilometres from Monastir, which handles just under 3 million passengers a year.

Sources close to the project say that the airport may face more delays after local officials were recently accused of presenting donor organisations with false projected passenger statistics. The proposed airport will have initial capacity of 5 million passengers a year, with the possibility of rising to 30 million passengers by 2038.

A consortium headed by Rothschild (Paris)and including the local Comete Engineering and France’s Gide Loyrette Nouelis providing financial, technical and legal advice to Tunis (MEED 23:7:04).