Financing of Istanbul's third airport ‘to be done by September’
PRISTINA - Reuters
The third airport in Istanbul has begun to be constructed at the northern part of the Istanbul, which comprises vast rugged terrains and small lakes.A consortium of Turkish contractors, who will build Istanbul’s third airport, plan to complete a financing deal by September, said Nihat Özdemir, Chairman of Limak group, three weeks after a groundbreaking ceremony for the giant project.
Speaking with reporters in Pristina, Kosovo, Özdemir said they expect to finalize financial packages for the airport – which is slated to be one of world’s largest – by August, with the latest being September.
The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won the construction tender on May 3, 2013, promising to pay the state 22.1 billion euros, plus taxes, over 25 years, starting from 2017.
“Currently, we are proceeding with shareholder equity. We make all of our plans [together and] we are going to complete the first phase in 2017 and open the airport to service in 2017,” Özdemir said, noting “I think we will start construction for the airport next year .”
The first stage of construction was planned to be finished in 42 months after the area was delivered and was expected to hold a capacity 70 million passengers. While an additional 20 million passenger capacity was foreseen.
However, the two phases of the project have been merged into the current plans, according to information Reuters received from company sources.
Therefore, a total of a 6.6 million euro investment planned for the first stage and a 2.3 million euro for the second stage will be funded by equities from the five consortium member companies, while the rest will be provided as a financial package. Two terminal buildings, three landing fields, eight parallel cab lanes and a 4-million-square meter apron will be built as part of the first stage.
Meanwhile, when asked about the reports claimed, the consortium had to change its plans for the airport due to the delay in the Kanal Istanbul project.
“We need to do this construction urgently so we don’t have time to wait for those projects. We are going to procure filling materials [and fill the holes ourselves],” said Özdemir. Reaching the desired elevation level for the airport, which is planned to be built on an area with many old open-pit coal mines that must be filled, requires around 2.5 billion cubic meters of filling material, which were intended to be taken from the Kanal Istanbul projects’ excavation soil.