Indian investment fund unveils support for three GMR airport projects

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The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and GMR Airports Limited have announced a partnership to invest in three airport projects in India, including the greenfield international airports at Mopa, Goa and Bhogapuram, Andhra Pradesh. This partnership will include an investment of Rs6.31bn (US$76m) by NIIF in airport operator GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), which will operate New Goa Airport.

In 2016, GGIAL was awarded the concession to develop and operate a second airport in Goa on a design-build-finance-operate-and-transfer (DBFOT) basis. Mopa Airport is a greenfield airport public-private partnership (PPP) concession awarded by a state government. The airport has already received an aerodrome license and upon commissioning, shall form part of the first dual-airport system in India alongside Dabolim Airport.

In the first phase, Mopa International Airport will have a design capacity to handle up to 4.4 million passengers per year, with an ultimate capacity of up to 40 million passengers per year. The project is intended to provide infrastructure to support the continued growth of tourism and business travel activity in Goa.

In addition to Mopa International Airport, airport operator GAL (of which GGIAL is a subsidiary) is also developing the upcoming airports in Bhogapuram, Andhra Pradesh, and in Crete, Greece, and awaits signing of the concession agreement of Nagpur airport, which is a brownfield project.

GBS Raju, business chairman of airports at GMR Group, said, “It is a proud moment for GMR Group having developed Mopa Airport. Goa is the prime holiday destination in India and is visited by travelers from across the world. We are confident that Mopa Airport will be a marquee airport in the country and shall add to the pride and economic development of the state. The airports have been designed to capture the vibrancy and the essence of Goan culture. Our partnership with NIIF, which will also extend to two more airports, is a further testament of GMR’s credibility as an airport infrastructure developer and the future of the aviation industry in the country.”

Vinod Giri, managing partner – master fund, NIIF, said, “NIIF believes that Mopa International Airport will boost air connectivity to the state and provide strong tailwinds to the tourism-linked economy of Goa. NIIF’s master fund is India’s largest infrastructure fund and has built a robust and well-diversified portfolio across ports and logistics, renewables, smart meters, roads and digital infrastructure. NIIF’s investment in Mopa airport shall be the master fund’s sixth investment and is a testament to our commitment to partner alongside reputed infrastructure developers, state governments and key stakeholders to fast-track the execution of the Government of India’s ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline. In line with the fund strategy, this investment complements the existing portfolio and is the first step for NIIF to expand its presence in the airport sector.”

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