Rwanda inks deal with Portugese firm for its biggest international airport
Sept 03, 2016: The Rwandan government signed a deal with Portuguese firm Mota-Engil Africa to start an initial investment of $418 million on the construction of a new international airport in Bugesera in the eastern province.
The total cost of the Bugesera International Airport is estimated at $800 million, according to Manuel Mota, the CEO of Mota-Engil Africa.
Bugesera, - which will become Rwanda's biggest airport - located 25 kilometre southeast of the capital Kigali, will have a 4.2 kilometre runway and an initial capacity to handle three million passengers per year. The airport is estimated to handle 4.5 million passengers per year upon completion.
"The new airport will enhance Rwanda's economic growth and development and serve as a gateway to the external world. It will facilitate trade and investment and act as a hub for RwandAir's growth strategy and other commercial airlines serving in the region," Rwanda's Minister of Finance, Claver Gatete said.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by December 2018.
According to the agreement, Mota-Engil will finance and operate the new airport for a period of 25 years with an optional 15 years extension.
With actual construction works set to begin in June next year, the investor has less than two years to meet the December 2018 deadline, a challenge that Mota said he is confident his company would attain.
"This will be a fast-tracked project. We are involved in several other projects in the region and in Africa and we have the experience necessary to achieve this," Mota told The EastAfrican on the sidelines of the signing ceremony.
Mota-Engil Africa has presence in eleven countries in the continent, boasts assets worth $1.5 billion and is listed on the Lisbon Stock Exchange.
Mota-Engil has also done facelift works at Rwanda's only airport, Kigali international Airport.