Rwanda has signed a major deal with a Portuguese investor to begin construction of Bugesera International Airport (BIA) project at a tune of $818 million.
According to a government statement released late Thursday, the deal is a joint venture between the government of Rwanda acting through Aviation Travel Logistics Holdings Limited (ATL) signed with Mota-Engil, Engenharia e Construção África, S.A.
The project has so far $418 million of initial investment and is scheduled for completion by December 2018 in its first phase, which will deliver a facility with a capacity to receive 1.7 million passengers every year.
Upon completion of this phase, extension works will be undertaken, to upgrade the capacity to 4.5 million passengers annually. The extension will require additional $ 400 million, bringing the total cost of the project to $818 million.
The agreement comprises of financing construction and operation of the airport project over a period of 25years with an optional 15 years extension.
Finance Minister Claver Gatete and James Musoni Minister of Infrastructure represented the government at the signing ceremony. They expressed appreciation of Mota-Engil’s commitment to partner in this project and stressed that this will be a transformational undertaking for the country.
Rwanda Development Board has been leading the government’s negotiating team which the ministers credited with diligence to win this deal.
Once completed, Bugesera International airport will become Rwanda’s largest International Airport, serving commercial flights. It is expected to boost the country’s economic growth and development.
“We have finally concluded and signed this agreement. Bugesera international airport is coming in at a time when it is badly needed,” Musoni said, adding that the airport shall have all requirements.”
According to Gatete, the 5,972 households have already been expropriated from the land gazetted for the airport. However, only 30 people did not indicate clearly their bank details.
“The money is there, and the land is cleared for the work to start,” he said.
The CEO of the 70 year old company, Mota Manuel, said; “We believe this is landmark project in Rwanda but also in the whole Africa-It will be a fast track construction.”
Manuel also said, “We believe that Rwanda is a very attractive country to do business. The business environment here is the best in Africa.”