The Chilean Public Works Ministry (Ministro de Obras Publicas, MOP) announced the selection on Thursday of the Nuevo Pudahuel consortium as their top choice to manage concessions at Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport.
The group will receive 22.14 percent of profits for its part in the public-private partnership (PPP; P3) over the contract period, offering the government a 77.56 percent profit share and committing to a total of $700 million in investments.
Nuevo Pudahuel is comprised of French Airport operator Aéroports de Paris (45 percent), the airport unit of Paris-based developer Vinci (40 percent), and Italian construction firm Astaldi (15 percent). The group already manages road and prisons in Chile.
“Santiago de Chile ranks among Latin America's most dynamic regional hubs, with average annual growth in passenger traffic of more than 10 percent per year over the past 20 years,” said Augustin de Romanet, chief executive of Aéroports de Paris, in a statement.
“This airport offers strong potential for growth and the creation of new routes that will enable it to become one of the main entry points into Latin America from Europe, the United States and soon, from Asia.”
The consortium's 20-year concession involves the management and development of the airport from October 1 this year.
The contract includes the renovation of existing installations and redesign and extension of the existing terminal; the funding, design and construction of a new 175,000-square-foot international terminal to increase capacity to 30 million; and the continued operation and commercial development over the contract period.
The airport reported traffic of more than 16 million passengers in 2014 – up from just under 9 million in 2008 – according to data gathered by Latin American business insight firm BNAmericas, with almost half of customers utilising the airport for international flights. The airport is expected to service 29 million passengers by 2030 and up to 50 million by 2045.
According to the MOP, the three other qualified bidders on the project were Grupo Pudahuel, Grupo Costanera and Consorcio AMB.
Grupo Pudahuel consists of Chilean firms Echeverria Izquierdo, Icafal and Spanish Ferrovial, which offered a 65.02 percent profit share to the government. Grupo Costanera is controlled by Italian toll road operator Atlantia and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, and Consorcio AMB is comprised of Madrid-based OHL, Columbian Grupo Odinsa and Zurich airport operator Flughafen Zurich. Both respectively offered 67.53 percent and 67.91 percent of profits respectively.
The fifth short-listed bidder, an AMB consortium comprised of Agansa – a majority shareholder in SCL Terminal Aereo Santiago, the incumbent concessions contract holder – and ACS, reportedly did not meet technical requirements.
Astaldi and Vinci Construction Grands Projets will oversee work on the ground throughout the period.
“This is great news for our country, for the economy, for air passengers and for the concession system, after receiving good offers to expand our main airport,” said Minister of Public Works Alberto Undurraga following the announcement.