Croatia Gets Single Bid For Zagreb Airport

December 12, 2011

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Croatia has received a single complete bid in the second round of a tender to build a terminal at Zagreb airport, the transport and infrastructure ministry said.

"We have successfully completed this second phase of bidding, and an expert commission will now assess the bid and propose (its) decision to the government," senior ministry official Tomislav Mihotic said on Monday.

The bidder for the project, estimated at EUR€190 million (USD$254 million), was a French-based consortium led by Aeroport de Paris. Another bid by Zurich Airport and Austrian group Strabag was likely to be rejected as incomplete, Mihotic said.

There were 10 bidders in the preliminary round six months ago.

The tender is for the building of a new terminal and a 30-year concession for operating both future terminals at Croatia's biggest airport, a major hub for the Adriatic coast.

Tourism accounts for almost a fifth of the European Union candidate's gross domestic product, with 2.2 million passengers passing through Zagreb airport each year. The goal is to increase that to around five million.

A special commission will now assess the bid and the government has to make a decision within 100 days. The final decision will be taken by the new government which ousted the conservative coalition in polls earlier this month.

Among initial requirements from the bidders were that they were not allowed to own an airline, must not depend on state financing, and cannot have ownership of another airport within 400 km of Zagreb. They also had to have experience running an airport with more than 10 million passengers in the past three years.

(Reuters)