At Least 200 Million Euros to be Invested in Airports

By , 09 Sep 2018, 22:04 PM Business
Osman Nurkovic Osman Nurkovic Pobjeda

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September 9, 2018 - I hear about Fidelity consulting for the first time in the attempt of interested groups to discredit the entire airport concession process through certain media outlets and create a negative atmosphere. Our decision to give a draft concession act on the public debate is a step closer to a better transparency of the process, you know that this was not the case in all countries that have already implemented such or similar concession arrangements, said the Minister of Transport Osman Nurkovic in an interview to Pobjeda”.

He was convinced that this concession would lead to a stronger economic development of the state of Montenegro, and thus to a better quality of life of citizens, and as such, it must be the subject of expert analysis, and not dispute through the media and social networks.

"I will only mention some of the key parameters, which I consider very important for the most important parties in this story - for the state and the citizens of Montenegro, as well as employees of the company “Aerodromi Crne Gore”. These are investments, high business standards and new knowledge in this field that we expect from the concessionaire, as well as new jobs. Total investments for Podgorica and Tivat airport, in the next 25-30 years, are estimated to at least 200 million euros. We expect the private partner to invest more than 100 million euros in the expansion of the infrastructure," Nurkovic said.

According to him, what is particularly important is the concessionaire's obligation to develop the airport in Tivat and to upgrade the airport’s capacity to meet safety and security requirements.

"Knowing how, with its location, Tivat is important as a destination, and given the current capacity of that airport, which is not equipped for doing night flights, it is clear why the investment in this airport is the highest priority. In addition to investing in existing ones, there is a duty of the concessionaire to develop a pre-feasibility study and business plan for the airports in Berane and Ulcinj, on the basis of which the Government will decide on their commissioning. We must not forget the importance of knowledge and the rich international experience brought by private partners, who are experts in airport management," he said.

Nurkovic expects that this will result in better margins and profitability, which will indirectly increase the number of concession fees to the Government. "I hear a lot of dilemmas in the public about the number of employees. The IFC estimates that by the year 2030 there will be 900 employees at Montenegrin airports, which is about 60 percent more than the current number. Taking into consideration all of the above, I am convinced that the potential concession of the airports will be a significant instigator of even more intensive growth of the local economy and tourism as one of the key economic branches," he stressed. Answering the question of whether he knows who ordered the analysis from Fidelity Consulting, which appears in the media and how you comment on the allegations from this analysis, Nurkovic pointed out that only now he heard about Fidelity consulting for the first time in an attempt by interested groups to discredit the complete process and create a negative atmosphere.

"Our decision to give a draft concession act to the public debate is a step closer to better transparency of the process, you know that this was not the case in all countries that have already implemented such or similar concession arrangements. The fact is that this concession is a step more towards the stronger economic development of the state of Montenegro, and therefore a better quality of life for the citizens of Montenegro, and as such, it must be the subject of expert analysis, and not disputes through the media and social networks. We will still focus on a serious public debate, where everyone will have the opportunity to communicate their opinions personally and on the spot. We have arguments and answers, we are ready for a mature and fact-inspired discussion," he explained.

Nurkovic emphasized that at this stage the draft concession act is discussed, the public debate is organized to give all subjects the opportunity to give opinions, suggestions, comments. He also points out that it is logical that there is interest from the foreign companies in the Montenegrin airports. "The fact is that Montenegro is recognized as a tourist and investment destination. It is obvious that large companies recognize the potential we have and think about how they can valorize and invest their capital," said the Minister of Transport.

Asked if there was more detailed information about whether the construction of the priority section of the highway will be delayed, Nurkovic replied that he had received assurance from the CRBC and CCCC management that Smokovac-Matesevo section of Bar-Boljare highway will be completed within the agreed deadline, or if there would be an extension of the deadline that this extension will be the least possible.

"However, the analysis made by the supervisors on the project and the entities on the side of the investor, observing the level of realization of the most demanding objects on this section of the highway, and the specificities and time constraints due to the technology of carrying out the works, and, on the other hand, the remaining period of time, do not give us assurance that the contractor will be able to compensate for the initial delay in the preparation of the project documentation during the remaining time for the completion of the project, "said Nurković. He emphasized that the fact that the contractor has employed significant capacities, which is visible and measurable along the entire section, where clear contours of the future highway can be seen clearly, both in the open route and on the tunnels and bridges, but it is also a fact that  since the beginning, the investor had a clear and consistent view that the quality of the works carried out, the safety of workers and environmental protection are in the first place and that there is no compromise.

Text by Pobjeda, on September 9th, 2018, read more at CdM

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