Occupying an an area bigger than Connaught Place, a building with a facade architecturally designed to look like the traditional folded hand Indian greeting, with a price tag of $4 billion — those are the basic details of the India International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the country’s first world class official venue that can hold big events like a G-20 summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for IICC today at Dwarka, Delhi, and the plan is to complete the first phase by end-2019.
The nearly 90-hectare IICC has been planned as a venue that will not just allow India to hold multilateral state events in style but also become an option for global convention and exhibition events in the private sector. This is estimated to be a $280 billion business annually and India, after IICC is built, can compete with other Asian countries for a slice of this pie.
Besides, the convention centre, the multi-purpose arena will have a capacity to host 20,000 people. The venue will also house three five-star hotels, four four-star hotels, two three-star hotels, as well as service apartments. Parking facility for nearly 30,000 vehicles is being planned.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is implementing the project, which will be operated by a consortium of South Korea’s Korea International Exhibition Centre and eSANG Networks.
The project work will be a mix of engineering procurement and construction and public-private partnership. The exhibition and convention centre including the allied infrastructure will be on EPC model and the mixed-use infrastructure including hotels, retail, commercial space and arena will be in PPP mode. Larsen and Toubro had won the contract for the first phase, which is being developed in EPC mode.
“Work is on track... Phase 1 will be completed by end of December 2019,” said a senior government official. The estimated cost of the project in $4 billion or about ₹25,700 crore to be completed in two phases, phase 1 by end 2019 and phase 2 by 2024.
The union cabinet had on November, 2017 approved development of the exhibition cum development centre. Subsequently, a new government company as a special purpose vehicle — Indian International Convention and Exhibition Centre — was incorporated for implementation of the project.
The government has provided a budgetary support of ₹2037.4 crore to the SPV as equity over a period of three years to fund trunk infrastructure, a part of the exhibition centre, foyer, convention centre, metro and road connectivity. The rest of the funding will be through debt. The SPV will raise debt through IDBI Capital Markets and Securities, which is the financial advisor to the project.