GREATER NOIDA/NEW DELHI: The bidding process to select a developer for the Jewar International Airport crystallized into a four-horse race on Wednesday between leading aviation and corporate heavyweights. The four shortlisted technical bids belong to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Zurich Airport AG, Anchorage Infrastructure (backed by the Canada-based Fairfax Holdings) and Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises.
The companies were picked from a pool of 20 that had participated in the bid floated on May 30 this year.
This was the first half of the bidding. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), which is UP’s nodal agency for the project, will study proposals before accepting financial bids later this month (on November 29) from the shortlisted firms. The developer for the airport, which is chasing a 2023 deadline for its first phase, will be finalized in January. YEIDA CEO Arun Vir Singh said the four bidders participating in the final leg have been found eligible on the technical front.
However, the analysis of financial parameters and metrics forwarded by them is going to be paramount in the entire process. Our focus would be on revenue generation plans of the four bidders,” Singh added. The UP government has formed a special purpose vehicle, Noida International Airport Ltd (NIAL), to manage the airport project. The bids, under YEIDA’s supervision, were floated by NIAL.
DIAL, the GMR group-led consortium that also has the Airports Authority of India as a stakeholder, has the right of first refusal (ROFR) for the Jewar project under rules which allow this to the operator of an existing airport if a new airport is coming up within a 150km radius (the distance between IGI and Jewar is less than that). Hence, if DIAL’s bid is up to 10% higher than the lowest bid, it will get an opportunity to match it. DIAL suffered a net loss of Rs 11.77 crore on a revenue of Rs 3793.26 crore in 2018-19 as against a profit of Rs 38.25 crore on a revenue of Rs 4,042.84 crore in 2017-18.
Canada-based global giant Fairfax Financial Holdings, promoted by the Hyderabad-born Prem Watsa, submitted its technical bid through Anchorage Infrastructure. The group has already acquired a 54% stake in Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL). The company has also acquired stakes in other firms like IIFL, Catholic Syrian Bank, Sanmar Chemicals and the National Stock Exchange.
The Adani group has diversified from its primary area, ports and logistics, to emerge as one of the largest Indian corporate players. It is also one of the country’s largest private electricity generators. The group earned a total revenue of Rs 40,950 crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 35,516 crore in the previous year. The company’s net profit declined to Rs 506 crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 594 crore in the previous year.
Switzerland-based Zurich Airport AG, one of the leading airport companies globally, has also developed Bengaluru international airport. It’s currently implementing the fifth phase of the expansion of Zurich airport. “We are now keen on finding out which of the four bidders is offering the highest per-passenger fee on November 29 before entering into an agreement with one of them that would execute the ambitious project of the Yogi Adityanath government,” said a YEIDA official.
The Jewar airport will begin with two runways, which is expected to be expanded to six by the completion of all its phases for which 5,000 hectares of land is required. The government has, as of now, acquired more than 1,000 hectares that allowed it to begin the process for the first phase, which needs 1,334 hectares.