Govt to review Bugesera airport project

The government plans to reassess the technical design and costing of the new airport to be constructed in Bugesera District. In 2009, Government engaged British engineering firm, TPS, for a detailed technical and feasibility study towards developing the New Bugesera International Airport. ccording to the TPS study, the airport would cost an estimated US$600 million upon completion.
The Technical Director of TPS Consult, Hanif Macci presenting the Bugesera Airport Project to stakeholders in 2009. The project is set to be reviewed. The New Times/ File photo
The Technical Director of TPS Consult, Hanif Macci presenting the Bugesera Airport Project to stakeholders in 2009. The project is set to be reviewed. The New Times/ File photo

The government plans to reassess the technical design and costing of the new airport to be constructed in Bugesera District.

In 2009, Government engaged British engineering firm, TPS, for a detailed technical and feasibility study towards developing the New Bugesera International Airport.

According to the TPS study, the airport would cost an estimated US$600 million upon completion.

In an exclusive with The New Times, the Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyumva, said they are exploring the possibility of downsizing the costing, to between US$300 and US 400 million.

 “We are trying to avoid paying for something that is very costly and may not probably provide you with enough security in terms of retaining the investment made,” he said.

Nsengiyumva said the government’s initial option was to adopt a model known as BOT – “build, operate and transfer”, where a concession for a particular period is agreed upon with investors.

“This is something that happens in big infrastructural projects.”

The minister noted that in this case, the more costly the project is, the longer the concession period, which may pose a problem. He added that high cost projects also attract fewer investors.

The government is engaging other experts in the field and many, including the TAV Group – an airport construction firm from Turkey, have shown interest.

“A number of them are telling us that anything around between US$ 300 and 400 million would be possible”.

 “We would like, by the end of the year, to reach a certain level of engagement, because we are sending out an expression of interest,” the minister said.

It is estimated that between 2015- 2025, the new airport would handle one million passengers and 150 million tonnes of cargo, annually.

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