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GMR Infrastructure announced that an international tribunal has declared its concession agreement to upgrade Male international airport in the Maldives was valid.
The Tirbunal said the concession agreement was valid and binding and was not void for any mistake of law or discharged by frustration. The Government of Maldives and Maldives Airport Company Limited have been asked to pay GMR $4 million by way of costs within 42 days.
The company reported in a statement:
It has always been our firm belief that the cancellation of our concession agreement amounted to wrongful repudiation by the Government of Maldives and the Tribunal has upheld this stand.We believe that this award is a validation of the high standards of conduct and commitment followed by GMR Group as a leading infrastructure developer. It further endorses GMR Group's excellent reputation as a world class airport developer and operator.
Under the contract signed in 2010, GMR was to modernise and operate the airport for a period of 25 years. In 2012, the over US$500 million airport development project was unilaterally canceled by the then Maldivian government headed by President Mohamed Waheed.
The bid was organised by World Bank's International Finance Corporation and supported by AusAid (Australia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and DevCo.
The two partners, GMR and Malaysia Airports, had invested US$230 million in the project during the two years they managed the airport. After nearly 18 months of hearing, the Rt Hon Lord Hoffman's Tribunal in Singapore has ruled in favour of GMR .