(Adds source saying Parsons chosen to manage the project)
By Veronica Gomez and Gabriel Stargardter
MEXICO CITY, Sept 4 Mexico is likely to pick an
experienced, foreign construction company, working in
partnership with local firms, to build a new $9 billion
international airport in Mexico City, Telecoms and Transport
Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said on Thursday.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto made the official
announcement of the airport this week, awarding the design of
the project to British architect Norman Foster and Fernando
Romero, a son-in-law of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim.
The six-runway, 120 billion peso project will be built
adjacent to the Benito Juarez International Airport on the
eastern flank of Mexico City, where the government already owns
land, and is expected to handle up to 120 million passengers a
Speaking on local television, Ruiz Esparza said no company
had yet been chosen to handle the construction.
"We need to pick an experienced (company), one that has
already built this type of airport," he said. "The most likely
scenario is that it is an international company, allied with
Ruiz Esparza on Wednesday said that the government was in
negotiations with U.S. engineering firm Parsons to manage the
airport construction project.
On Thursday, a source with knowledge of the plan said the
government has reached a preliminary deal for Parsons to manage
the project. The contract has yet to be signed, the source said.
Parsons in late August posted job openings for "a
multibillion-dollar international airport development" based in
Mexico City online.
Ruiz Esparza said that Foster and Romero would earn about
1.8 billion pesos ($137.7 million) for their architectural
design, and that the new airport would retain the name of the
Foster is one of the world's most famous architects, and his
practice, Foster + Partners, has designed dozens of high-profile
projects around the world, including Beijing Airport and
London's Wembley Stadium.
Romero is married to Soumaya Slim, a daughter of one of the
world's richest men, and is the head of FR-EE Fernando Romero
Enterprise. The firm designed Mexico City's distinctive Museo
Soumaya, which houses much of Slim's personal art collection
behind its sloping, silvery walls.
Slim, who controls Mexican telecoms giant America Movil
, is behind a diversified empire that spans mining,
banking and retail. Analysts say Slim's Grupo Carso and builder
ICA are likely to bid for construction contracts.
($1 = 13.07 Mexican pesos)
(Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Simon Gardner,
Gunna Dickson and Leslie Adler)