PAKISTAN SEEKS JV PARTNERS FOR NEW ISLAMABAD AIRPORT.
KARACHI -(Dow Jones)-Pakistan's top state aviation body will invite bids in two months to seek joint venture partners for building a new $250 million airport in its capital city, Islamabad, an official said Thursday.
Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Aliuddin told a news conference that the decision was taken after the government shelved its own plans to build the airport - planned in 1992 - due to lack of funds.
Islamabad currently has one airport.
"The government has told us that funds will not be available for the project, therefore, Civil Aviation is using its own funds and seeking a joint venture for the project," Aliuddin said.
He said the estimated cost of the airport could be $250 million, excluding the cost of the land, which aviation officials said was bought in 1992 for $20 million.
"We intend to call expression of interest in two months, but we have already started talking to international firms," Aliuddin said.
The aviation body currently runs 42 airports in Pakistan of which only three, Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar are profitable, officials said.
The country's second largest airport in the northern city of Lahore is being reconstructed at a cost of 9 billion rupees ($1=PKR60) and is likely to be completed next year, Aliuddin said.
-By Saeed Azhar, Dow Jones Newswires; 5872886; firstname.lastname@example.org
-0- 26/04/01 10-40G.
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