EXCLUSIVE: Lebanon airport PPP consultancy selection starts

16 September 2018
Client is expected to seek interest for the airport redevelopment’s main contract in early 2019

The process of selecting legal and technical consultants for the $500m expansion of Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International airport is now under way, according to a source familiar with the scheme.

Lebanon-based consultancy firms Dar al-Handasah and Khatib al-Alami are among those understood to be looking to bid for the technical consultancy contract, when Lebanon’s High Council for Privatisation and PPP (HCP) issued the tenders in June .

MEED understands HCP is looking to to invite developers and operators to deliver expressions of interest (EOIs) for the airport redevelopment’s main contract early next year.

According to another source with knowledge of the scheme, the plan is for a “limited EOI to be issued sometime around March 2019”.

Lebanon is undertaking the airport expansion using a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

HCP earlier appointed Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC) transaction adviser for the project, which aims to expand the airport’s capacity from six to 20 million passengers a year.

IFC will conduct studies on the planned airport expansion over a period of 21 months.

Prior to IFC’s appointment, it is understood that the Lebanese government had been reviewing various proposals for expanding the airport, which processed an estimated 8.23 million passengers in 2017.

Lebanon-based consultancy Dar al-Handasah is understood to have proposed a plan of action to increase the airport’s capacity to 10 million passengers a year that requires a budget of $54m.

Another company has proposed rehabilitating the runways, aprons and other associated infrastructure for approximately $28m.

IFC has advised the Middle East region's two successful airport PPP projects in the past. These  are Jordan's Queen Alia International and Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International in Medina.

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