Arabtec-TAV Group Nears Abu Dhabi Airport Contract

April 25, 2012

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An Arabtec Holding consortium that includes Greek and Turkish firms is on the cusp of securing an estimated USD$3 billion contract for the expansion of Abu Dhabi's international airport, four industry sources told reporters.

The group, which includes Turkey's TAV Insaat and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), have pipped three rival consortia for the lucrative contract to build a midfield terminal building.

An Abu Dhabi-based source aware of the deal said the TAV-Arabtec group had been chosen but that final details still needed to be hammered out. Meanwhile, a source in the consortium said the group "had gotten positive signals but no official information had been sent."

"They have the lowest bid... it's likely they will win it," said a third source, who was involved in the bidding process, speaking on condition of anonymity.

TAV declined to comment. Arabtec and CCC officials in the United Arab Emirates were not available for comment.

An ADAC spokesman said an announcement would be made only once the tender is completed.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) had short-listed four groups in February for the general construction contract.

The new terminal will be around 700,000 square metres in size, according to ADAC's website, and is a key part of an ambitious expansion at the airport in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

The midfield complex will include the terminal building, passenger and cargo facilities as well as duty-free shops and restaurants for a total capacity of up to 40 million people a year. It is due to become operational in 2017.

In the first three months of the year, Abu Dhabi Airport handled 3.4 million passengers, up 21 percent over the same period in 2011.

ADAC wants to expand its airport facilities to back the growth of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and compete with passenger growth in neighbouring emirate Dubai, home to Emirates.

(Reuters)