New Bids Force Further Delay for Burma Airport Work: Official

By Aung Hla Tun 11 March 2014

RANGOON — Work on the US$1.1 billion Hanthawaddy International Airport in Burma faces additional delays because the four short-listed competitors for the job will have to submit new bids because of “a major change in project policy,” a senior Transport Ministry official told Reuters.

“Our government has agreed to seek ODA [official development assistance] for implementing the project,” the senior official told Reuters, asking not to be identified since he was talking to the media without authorization.

“So, to make the competition fair … we decided to invite the four short-listed bidders to send in their tenders again. The deadline is on April 22,” he added. “Originally, the project was targeted to finish by 2018, but it would now take some more time.”

In August a consortium led by South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp was named as the preferred bidder to build Hanthawaddy International Airport, but those discussions were said to have broken down.

Other bidders include a consortium made of up Singapore’s Changi Airport Planners, Yongnam Holdings and Japan’s JGC Corp and a consortium made up of Vinci Airport of France and Taisei Corp of Japan.

The official said both Inchon and Yongnam had come up with suggestions on partially financing the project with development assistance and the government took that into consideration.

Located near Bago Town, the Hanthawaddy International Airport is about 60 miles (96 km) away from the International Airport in the commercial capital of Rangoon.

Only three of about three dozen airports operating in Burma are considered international airports. Yangon International Airport is being upgraded and expanded and Mandalay International Airport is awaiting upgrades.

Spurred by political and economic reforms in the past few years, tourist arrivals to the country have almost exceeded the capacity of existing facilities in Rangoon, Mandalay and the capital of Naypyidaw.