The consortium that won the contract to develop Taif International Airport on a build, transfer, operate (BTO) basis expects to reach financial close by mid-2018, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction.

MEED understands that the consortium, which comprises local Asyad Group, Germany’s Munich Airport International and Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company, is currently engaged in negotiations with mostly local banks, and that an agreement with the banks is expected to be finalised before June 2018.

Italy’s 3Ti Progetti is undertaking the design and geotechnical study for the project.

Taif International Airport is planned to have an initial capacity of 5 million passengers annually. The airport expects to begin operating in 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (Gaca) awarded three other airport BTO projects earlier this year to a team comprising Turkey’s TAV Airports and local Al-Rajhi Group. They include a passenger terminal building at the Yanbu airport and the redevelopment of airports in Qassim and Hail.

The TAV/Al-Rajhi consortium expects to reach financial close for the project before the end of 2017.

It is understood both consortiums are currently establishing special purpose vehicles for each of the airport projects.

Construction work on the four airports are expected to commence only after the projects reach financial close.

Gaca last month moved the target completion date for the privatisation of all airports in the kingdom from 2020 to end of this year.

Airport Privatisation model Contractor / Developer / SPV
Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Qassim PPP TAV / Al-Rajhi
Hail airport PPP TAV / Al-Rajhi
Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdul Aziz, Yanbu (passenger terminal) PPP TAV / Al-Rajhi
Taif International PPP Asyad / Munich Airports / Consolidated Contractors Company
Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International, Medina PPP Tibah Airports
King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah Private operator Changi Airports
King Khalid International, Riyadh Private operating company Goldman Sachs (financial adviser for stake sale)
King Fahd International, Dammam Private operating company na
Source: MEED