Year In Review

Asia & Oceania: Year in Review • 2017

Asia & Oceania

Cambodia – Jan 02/17 – Chinese Firm Scoops Cambodian Airport Project 

China’s Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd. (YIHL) has been selected by the Cambodian government to build the new US$880m international airport for Siem Reap region. Meanwhile, the government is deliberating to determine compensation to be paid to Vinci, the operator of the existing Siem Reap airport, for early termination of the concession contract.

Japan – Jan 03/17 – Tokyu-led Partners Engineer Sendai Turn-around 

Tokyu group and its partners, the new private operator of Sendai Airport, are expected to reduce operating losses to US$850,000 in their first fiscal year under privation management and operation, through cost cutting measures and increased passenger volumes. In the last fiscal prior to privatization the airport posted a US$9.3m loss.

India – Jan 07/17 – Fairfax Hits Road-block in Purchase of BLR Shares  

Canadian investment firm Fairfax’s plan to acquire GVK’s 33% share in Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL), has hit a regulatory road-block . Fairfax is having difficulty completing the USD$321m deal due to difficulties in the approval process.

Australia – Jan 17/17 – New Sydney Airport, Up Two to Decades in the Making

The new Western Sydney Airport is expected to take nearly 20 years to fully build out at a cost of USD$20b.  A further USD$100b of investment in “airport-city” related development and infrastructure is also anticipated. Sydney Airport Corp., operator of the existing Sydney Airport (SYD) holds right-of-first refusal for new airports within 100 km radius of SYD.

India – Jan 22/17 – Two Groups Step Away from Navi-Mumbai Bid

In a surprise turn, a few days prior to financial bid opening for the Navi Mumbai project, GMR and Tata have decided to step away from the project due to unattractive bid terms and concerns over project delivery and schedule challenges. The unexpected withdrawals leave only two contenders for the project; GVK/MIAL and Hiranandani/Zurich. Days later, CIDCO announced a two-week delay in the bid opening. Later in the month, VINCI revealed its plans to bid on the project.

Philippines – Feb 05/17 – San Miquel Offers to Build New Manila Airport 

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has offered to build an international airport in Bulacan, to replace the highly-congested Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport. Back in 2004, SMC submitted a similar offer to the former Aquino government at a cost of USD$10b on roughly 2000 hectares of land, with four runways to support a total terminal capacity of 50-100m passengers/year.

Philippines – Feb /23 – Philippines Restarts Regional Airport Bidding Process

The Philippines has initiated a pre-qualification process for the five regional airports of Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Laguindingan, Iloilo and New Bohol (Panglao). Originally launched by the previous Aquino government, the process was sidelined in the lead-up to the recent national election that brought the Duterte administration to power. Unlike the initial attempt, in which two bundles of airports where put up for grabs, this time the five airports are being offered up individually by the government.

Cambodia – Mar 01/17 – VINCI Celebrates 20 Years in Cambodia

VINCI Airports recently marked 20 years of operations in Cambodia managing three airports; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanouk, through dramatic annual double-digit growth. The future of VINCI’s Siem Reap concession has, however, taken an unexpected turn with the government’s 2016 award of a nearby greenfield project to a Chinese group.

India – Mar 02/17 – GVK Clinches Navi-Mumbai Project

Fraught with seemingly endless delays, twists and turns, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) announced GVK as the victor for the Navi-Mumbai bid. GMR, recent winner of the Goa-Mopa greenfield project, was reported to be the only other bidder on the project, despite numerous groups having prequalified in the lead up to the final deadline.

India – Mar 04/17 – Preliminary Nod Given for Kerala Greenfield Project

Kerala’s cabinet recently granted approval-in-principle for development of a greenfield airport near the Sabarimala, Pathanamthitta pilgrimage area to serve the many millions of worshippers that visit from November to January annually.

Thailand – Mar 18/17 – Thailand Seeks to Streamline PPP Process

The Thai regional government has launched efforts to expedite its public-private partnership process for key infrastructure projects in the country, including expansion of U-tapao airport. The U-tapao project calls for the fast-tracking of a second terminal, increasing capacity from 3 to 15 million passengers per year, as well as construction of a second runway.

Thailand – May 05/17 – Thailand Considers Private Sector Airport Investment

The Thai government is hoping to attract private sector interest in developing 29 airports across the country in a bid to position Thailand a regional hub. Although not yet fully settled, the government has indicated the potential project structures could range from conventional Public-Private Partnership schemes to purely private ventures.

Philippines – May 26/17 – Philippines Kills Bid Process for Regionals Airports

Following recent extension of the pre-qualification deadline, in a surprise move, the Philippine government cancelled the de-bundled bid process for concession five regional airports: Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Laguindingan, Iloilo and New Bohol (Panglao). The airports were initially put up for bid in 2015, however the process was derailed by a national election ban in May 2016.

Myanmar – Jun 06/17 – Myanmar Pursues Reforms to Stimulate Investment 

In a drive to modernize its transportation infrastructure, Myanmar is pursuing transportation sector reforms under the banner “Myanmar: Moving Ahead” which includes public-private partnerships to expedite the programme. Key initiatives include the facilitation of private sector participation in the development of the Yangon and Mandalay international airports.

India – Jun 11/17 – Fairfax Buys Up at Bangalore-Kempegowda Int’l Airport

Fairfax recently announced that it has secured terms for acquisition of a further 10% stake in Bangalore Int’ Airport from GVK’s wholly-owned Bangalore Airport SVP/subsidiary for a combined investment of ~USD$200m. Subject to the usual closing conditions and consents, the deal is expected to transact in July 2017, upon which Fairfax will hold 48% in the airport company.

Philippines – Jul 07/17 – GMR/Megawide Seek 25-Year Extension for Cebu

GMR-Megawide, the consortium awarded the right to operate and develop Mactan-Cebu Airport back in 2014, has submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Philippine government to extend its concession a further 25 years. The proposal will be subject to a Swiss Challenge, if approved by the authorities, giving other proponents the chance to match or better the offer.

Japan – Jul 10/17 – Japan’s Kumamoto Airport to be Privatized by 2020

The Japanese ministry responsible for infrastructure and transport has published tender documents for the privatization of Kumamoto Airport. The proposed concession will be structured under a 48-year contract, with a 10-year extension option in the event of natural disaster, given the region’s history of major seismic events including the Apr-2016 earthquake which severely damaged the existing terminal building. The government target date for privatization of the airport is Apr. 2020.

India – Jul 15/17 – India Seeks Private Operator for Ahmedabad Airport

A dozen companies have expressed interest in pursuing a Public Private Partnership for operation and management of India’s Ahmedabad – Sardar Vallabbhai Patel International Airport. The prospective bidders include India’s GMR and GVK, as well as various key international players including the operators of Frankfurt, Zurich and Dublin airports.

Japan – Aug 03/17 – VINCI-ORIX Declared Preferred Bidder for Kobe

VINCI Airports and its’ Kansai Airports joint venture partner ORIX have been named as the preferred bidder for a 42-year concession of Kobe Airport, with transfer slated for April 2018. The deal, if consummated, will put the VINCI-ORIX group in control of the region’s three major airports; Kansai, Itami and Kobe.

Thailand – Aug 06/17 – Thailand Launches U-Tapao PPP Feasibility Study

Thai government efforts to expedite the county’s public-private partnership investment program, announced earlier in the year, are taking an important step forward with launch of feasibility studies for expansion of the U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport, including viability assessment for a second passenger terminal and a second runway on the site.

Palau – Aug 23/17 – Sojitz & JAT Partner on Palau Airport Concession

The South Pacific island nation of Palau has reached a deal with Japanese trading house Sojitz and Japan Airport Terminal (JAT), operator of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport under a 20-year PPP structure for development and operation of the country’s main airport. The state will hold a 49% share and the Sojitz/JAT 50-50 joint venture will assume the remaining 51% stake.

Vietnam – Aug 25/17 – Chinese & Hong Kong Firms Eye Long Thanh Project

A group of Chinese and Hong Kong based firms are actively seeking Vietnam Ministry of Transport approval to invest in four large-scale infrastructure projects in the country totaling roughly USD50 billion, including Long Thanh International Airport. The Ministry places the total cost of the airport project at roughly USD16 billion.

Sri Lanka – Sep 03/17 – India Eyes Development of Sri Lankan Airport

The India government is reported to be pursuing a deal with Sri Lanka to “operate, manage, maintain and develop” the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. The Civil Aviation Ministry has been given the green light to study the Indian proposal via a special committee. Under the proposal, India would hold 70% equity in a joint venture under a 40 year concession, investing USD$205 million, with Sri Lanka contributing USD$88m to the project.

Cambodia – Sep 05/17 – New Siem Reap Airport Works to Kick Off in Early 2018

The new Siem Reap International Airport, to be developed by Chinese stated-owned Yunnan Investment Holdings, is slated to break ground in early 2018. Meanwhile, the future Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, under long-term concession to VINCI, faces uncertainty given the close proximity of the two airports and their overlapping market catchment.

Philippines – Sep 09/17 – Philippines Pursues Alternative for Regional Airports

Following cancellation of the concession process for Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Laguindingan, Iloilo and New Bohol (Panglao) earlier in the year, the Philippines government is reported to be seeking official development assistance loans to finance the construction of these five regional airports. Feasibility studies are expected by the end of the year.

Philippines – Sep 13/17 – New Mactan-Cebu Terminal Taking Shape

The GMR-Megawide consortium, which recently played host to the GAD-Asia conference in Cebu, Philippines, provided delegates with a first-hand view of the new Mactan-Cebu terminal. The ambitious project, which is now well-advanced, involves the construction of an innovative and elegant laminated wood beam structure designed with a capacity 8m pax/year. The consortium was awarded the right to operate and develop Mactan-Cebu’s airport in 2014 under a 25-year PPP concession.

Japan – Sep 17/17 – Three Groups Advance in Bid for Fukuoka

The Japanese government announced that three out of the five consortia that expressed interest in the Fukuoka Airport concession have advanced to the second round of the proposal process which will commence in Mar. 2018 with designation of “priority negotiation rights” by May 2018 and transfer to private management and operation targeted for Apr. 2019.

India – Oct 03/17 – Navi-Mumbai Project Forging Ahead at Last

The long-awaited Navi-Mumbai greenfield project is close to securing final environmental approvals, clearing the way for pre-development works by mid-2018. GVK secured the rights to develop and operate the new airport early in the new year which, on final completion, will handle up to 60m passengers/year.

India – Nov 04/17 – India’s First Airport PPP Continues to Thrive

India’s first PPP-operated airport, Cochin International, has recorded another strong year of profit for FY-2016/17, driven by a 15.06% growth in passenger traffic. Under the company’s concession, the government holds a 32.42% stake in the venture.

Thailand – Dec 04/17 – Thai Airports to See More Private Sector Participation 

Thailand’s Department of Airports is considering the hand-over of management responsibilities for Tak and Udon Thani airports to the Airports of Thailand (AoT). The Thai government owns 70% of AoT, with the remaining 30% held by private sector interests. The move is aimed at improving infrastructure and operational performance at the two airports.

Philippines – Dec 08/17 – Four Regional Philippine Airports Going O&M Route

The Philippine government has announced that it will be bidding out four regional airports (Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod and Laguindingan) in 2018 for private sector operation and maintenance, following feasibility study review. Capital investment will be funded through official development assistance, general appropriations and/or the national budget.

Nepal – Dec 09/17 – Nepal Mulls Over Airport Privatization Options  

Private sector participation is reportedly being considered for the operation of Nepal’s Gautam Buddha Airport. Sources say

the National Planning Commission has been exploring P3 scenarios with the Asian Development Bank, financier of the airport’s ongoing USD55m upgrade. A feasibility study has been recommended to evaluate privatization options.