Bengal Aerotropolis snippets

Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL)—in which Singapore’s Changi Airports International (CAI) has lifted a 26% stake at a cost of $20 million (Rs 98 crore)—said that it remained hopeful that its proposed airport at Andal in Durgapur would be operational in 2011-12. BAPL, which inducted CAI CEO Wong Woon Liong and deputy CEO Eugene Gan as directors on its board during the day, said land acquisition for the airport city project encompassing an area of 2,182 acres was on track and construction would start by March 2010. The airport itself would take up 650 acres. “The project (at Andal in Durgapur) will be a showcase one for India as well and we are expecting attractive returns from the venture in the medium-to-long-term,’’ Wong, who had flown down to the city for BAPL’s board meeting, said, while adding that the arrangement would not prevent Changi from exploring other opportunities within India. The Bengal Aerotropolis venture envisages a total cost of Rs 10,000 crore over five years. On the non-aviation side, it would have industrial and IT parks, a logistics hub and housing facilities. BAPL officials, though, parried questions on how they would fund the project. The CAI investment pegs the enterprise value of BAPL at nearly Rs 380 crore. At a debt-equity ratio of 4:1, BAPL would have to raise nearly Rs 1,600 crore to kickstart initial operations. Given the current state of the markets, that could prove quite a challenge. Apart from CAI, other investors in BAPL are Pragati Social Infrastructure & Development (a JV between Pragati47 and Hudco), Citystar Infrastructure and Lend Lease Co. BAPL CEO & director Subrata Paul said the project would not result in massive relocation of people.

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