THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Trivandrum International Airport Ltd (TIAL) may well be on its way into the hands of a private player, even as the state government is putting up a last-ditch effort to avert such a scenario. Not only has it formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) but is now trying to rope in a global airport as its consortium partner. This comes at a time when speculation is rife whether TIAL will go the way of Adani Group or GMR.
KPMG, technical consultant to the state government, is exploring the possibility of wooing either Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Frankfurt or Flughafen München GmbH as part of the consortium of companies to be formed in connection with the bid.
Meanwhile, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has revised its ‘request for proposal’ whereby the chances of the state utility to win the bid stands diminished. While the Centre had earlier agreed to grant Kerala ‘right of first refusal’ (RoFR) if the state government matched the highest bid.
But the revised request of proposal issued by the AAI has now clarified that Kerala will have to take part in the bidding and can have a go at right of first refusal only if its bid is within a range of 10 per cent of the highest bid.In other words, if it fails to make a bid that does not fall within the 10 per cent perimeter of the highest bid, then the state stands to lose out on TIAL.
Speaking to Express, S Ajith Kumar, secretary of Airport Authority Employees Union,
Trivandrum, said, “There is only a wafer thin chance for the state winning the bid. Now we need to see only if it is Adani, GMR or some other private player that walks away with TIAL.”
According to insiders, given that the country’s first international multi-purpose deep water seaport project at Vizhinjam is being developed by the Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd (AVPPL), Adani has to be the front runner for TIAL. There are also talks about possible alliance between two private players like Adani and GMR. Meanwhile, an Abu Dhabi based Company Abu Dhabi Investment Agency (ADIA) hasannounced it would be competing in the bidding of six airports, after forming a consortium of companies.
According to sources in the government, the state government appointed KPMG as technical consultant to live the chances of the state in the bidding. The state is looking for global partner like Frankfurt or Munich airport to enhance its possibility.