KIAL board awards work to lowest bidder
Infrastructure and engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has been awarded the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract for Kannur airport, the fourth international airport of the State.
The financial bids submitted by L&T, GMR-Limak, ITD Cementation India Ltd, and Sanjose-Gammon were opened on Tuesday in the capital. The lowest bid, by L&T was verified by the consultant and the engineering wing of Kannur International Airport Ltd. (KIAL).
Based on this, the KIAL board, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, decided to award the EPC contract to the company which had executed the airport projects in New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.
Minister for Excise, Ports, and Airports K. Babu handed over the ‘letter of award’ to L&T cluster head K.M. Shaji in the presence of Additional Chief Secretary, Aviation, V.J. Kurien and KIAL Managing Director G. Chandramouli. The contract will have to be signed in 20 days.
Official sources told The Hindu that Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony would formally launch the work by the month-end. But, the ground-levelling and tree-cutting work would commence in the next couple of days, they said.
As many as six companies had come up with bids for the EPC. The board had set up a five-member empowered committee, headed by Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan, to look into the technical bids. Based on the committee’s report, the financial bids were opened on Tuesday.
The KIAL board had cleared the detailed project report prepared by AECOM Asia. A consortium led by the Hong Kong-based AECOM Asia Pvt. Ltd., and comprising AECOM India Pvt. Ltd. and CRISIL, was the project consultant.
The EPC for the airside included earthwork, and works on the runway, taxiway, apron, and ground lighting. Associated infrastructure such as perimeter wall and operational wall would come under the EPC.
The work on EPC II to ensure that the first flight takes off from the airport in December 2015 is also in full swing. The request for qualification (RFQ) for the EPC II will be floated in January next and the aim was to award the work by April 2014, sources said.
The integrated terminal building, air traffic control tower, administrative and technical blocks, and facilities in the buildings such as aerobridges, escalators, elevators, and counters would be included in EPC II.
Environment clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for the project was received in July this year and the 800 hectares needed had been notified. The KIAL was in possession of 511.2 hectares of land and the remaining was to be handed over soon.
Official sources said all mandatory clearances including that from the local municipality and the panchayat had been received for the project.
The airport was coming up in the Keezhallur grama panchayat and the Mattannur municipality at an estimated cost of Rs.1,542 crore on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. It will be set up on a build, own, operate (BOO) model.