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Germany's Fraport and its Greek partner Copelouzos Group have finally signed contracts with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for the 40-year concessions to operate, manage, develop and maintain 14 regional airports in Greece.
Combined, the 14 Greek regional airports served about 22 million passengers in 2014 and are expected to exceed the 23 million passenger mark in 2015. International passengers account for about 77 % of the total traffic at these gateways. The concession is divided into two clusters:
With an offer consisting of an upfront payment of €1.234 billion (US$1.355 billion) and an annual payment of €22.9 million (US$25.1 million) for the life of the concession, the Fraport-Copelouzos consortium beat out competition from two other consortia. More specifically, the preferred bidder offered for Cluster A an upfront payment of €609 million and an annual payment of €11.3 million and for Cluster B, €625 million in upfront payment and €11.6 million in annual payment.
The Fraport-Copelouzos consortium is required to invest a total of €330 million (US$362.4 million) in airport infrastructure until 2020, followed by maintenance and traffic-driven capacity investments during subsequent years of the project. These investment amounts are over and above the upfront and the annual fees.
Actual ownership of the airports will still be retained by the Greek government throughout the concession term.
The signature of the deals was delayed by the current situation in Greece but the government of Tsipras has finally agreed to execute several privatization processes in agreement with the IMF.Fraport's executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte stated:
"Since being selected as preferred bidder more than a year ago, Fraport and Copelouzos have remained steadfastly committed to the Greek regional airports - a win-win project for Greece and its people. The project underscores the extensive know-how that Fraport will be able to provide at these 14 aviation gateways, which are vital for Greece's economy and, in particular, its huge international tourism sector. We are proud that the Greek government and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) have entrusted Fraport-Copelouzos with the task of strengthening the competitive position of these airports in the decades to come. We would like to thank both the HRADF and Greek government for their professional cooperation in reaching this milestone agreement."
The founder and chairman of Copelouzos Group, Dimitris Copelouzos, said:
"The project for the 14 Greek regional airports is one of the largest and most beneficial investments based on national and social criteria. Undoubtedly, this investment is a basis for boosting the Greek economy, especially during this critical period for the country. The benefits at the national and regional level are multiple and the cooperation of the two companies is a guarantee for successfully supporting tourism as the heavy industry of Greece, reinforcing competitiveness of the economy and creating new jobs."