The Maldives government has issued notices to GMR terminating its contract to develop the Male airport, where the company has already invested $250 million.
The Ministry of External Affairs called it a negative signal, saying the contract was terminated without consultation with GMR – this, after it was awarded through a global tender.
The Maldives Cabinet had recommended the termination of the contract to GMR for developing the Ibrahim Nassir International Airport in Male.
The $511 million project has been in trouble ever since there was a change of guard in Maldives.
The incumbent government headed by Mohammed Waheed has been against the contract given to GMR by his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed. Even being in the Opposition, Mohammed Waheed was arguing against the privatisation of the airport in Male that too for a term of 25 years and allowing the developer to collect airport development fees.
GMR had set out on developing the airport after winning the project in build-and-operate mode for a period of 25 years with a clause to get the period extended by another 10 years. GMR Male International Airport Ltd (GMIAL) was to have a 77% stake in the project with Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad
(MAHB) keeping the balance 23% stake.