All set for 3.3 bln euro Lisbon airport tender

LISBON, April 7 Tue Apr 7, 2009 12:57pm EDT

LISBON, April 7 (Reuters) - The planned new international airport in Lisbon will require 3.3 billion euros ($4.47 billion) in investment, state-run Naer company said on Tuesday after presenting the final study for the project.

"It's all set (for the tender)," Naer chief Carlos Madeira said, adding that the schedule for the tender now depended on the government. Government officials have said they expect to launch the bidding process in the second quarter of 2009.

Under the plan, the airport authority, ANA, will be privatised by selling off a majority stake. The winning company will also build the airport using its own resources, plus government and European Union funds.

Madeira said the environmental study for the airport project would probably be conducted simultaneously with the tender, and expected the results of the study to be ready by end-2009.

Portugal's leading motorway operator Brisa BRI.LS and No. 1 construction company Mota-Engil (MOTA.LS) have already expressed interest in a joint bid, as has another consortium including builder Teixeira Duarte TDU.LS and a unit of Spanish company Ferrovial (FER.MC).

Spanish highway operator Abertis (ABE.MC) and Portuguese industrial conglomerate Semapa (SEM.LS) have also said they might take part.

The airport, to be built 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the centre of Lisbon, across the river Tagus in the municipality of Alcochete, is expected to become operative in 2017. The airport will require a highway and rail connection, as well as a fuel pipeline.

The Alcochete airport will be able to receive 19 million passengers a year, 185,000 aircraft and 139,000 tonnes of cargo. The congested 75-year-old Portela airport will close after the new one starts working. (Reporting by Elisabete Tavares, Andrei Khalip, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7389 Euro)