Firms vie for Abu Dhabi terminal deal

11 April 2008

Contract to build midfield airport complex attracts bids from France, Singapore, Germany and Turkey.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) has received four bids for the build-operate-transfer contract for the midfield terminal on the $6.8bn redevelopment of Abu Dhabi International airport.

The four bidders are France’s Aeroports de Paris (ADP), Singapore’s Changi Airports International, Germany’s Hochtief, and Turkey’s TAV.

It is expected that TAV will elect to build the terminal itself if it wins the contract, whereas the other three bidders will use third-party contractors.

Three of the bidders have strong links with Abu Dhabi and the airport project. Changi was selected to operate the existing Abu Dhabi International airport facilities for 18 months in December 2006, while ADP is the design consultant for the air traffic control tower that is under construction.

Hochtief formed a joint venture with Mubadala Development Company in 2006, which is controlled by the Abu Dhabi government, to pursue airport project opportunities, and subsequently bid for work in Jordan and Russia.

Adac’s masterplan for the airport redevelopment calls for the construction of a 220,000-square-metre terminal, located between the existing runway and one being built two kilometres to the north. The midfield terminal is expected to increase the airport’s passenger handling capacity by 20 million.

The facility’s flexible design allows for expansion to 50 million people and more than 2 million tonnes of cargo a year.

US-based Kohn Pederson Fox Associates was selected to design the terminal in late 2006. Adac has also been assisted by Citigroup, which carried out the due diligence, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Construction work is coming to a close on the much smaller terminal building for Etihad Airways. The local/South African joint venture of Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprises and Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) was awarded the $220m contract to build the facility in late 2006.

It will have nine boarding gates and a total built-up area of 55,000 square metres. It will be connected to the existing main terminal and will include passenger and baggage handling areas, as well as office and maintenance areas. Completion is due in about 18 months. The UK’s Pascal & Watson is the design consultant.

The local Al-Jaber Group with Brazil’s Odebrecht has the contract to build the new runway.

US-based Parsons International is the programme manager for the entire development. The Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport is overseeing the project (MEED 16:12:07).

Several development projects are being built close to the airport, including the Masdar City project, Sorouh Real Estate’s aviation residential complex, and three developments by Aldar Properties: Motorworld, Al-Raha Beach and Al-Raha Gardens.

Abu Dhabi International Airport enjoyed 31 per cent growth in passenger figures in 2007, with 6.9 million passengers using the airport over the year, a 31 per cent increase on the previous year.

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