EXCLUSIVE: After much anticipation and a series of delays,the competition to construct and operate the new Tulum airport will be launched,today.
Sources close to the government say the bidding document outlining requirements for competitors is about to be made public.
Applicants will have until June 25,2010 to enter and the winner will be chosen by December 2010.
The Riviera Maya's new international airport is the first in Mexico to be 100% financed and constructed by private investors under a concession scheme. Bidders are expected to include airport operators and international investment consortiums.
Mexico's President,Felipe Calderón,had hoped to launch the process last month,but last minute changes were necessary to satisfy the Federal Competition Commission,after concerns were raised that ASUR,the operator of nearby Cancun airport,would have an unfair advantage when bidding for the project.
Another potential investor, Advent International,raised money last month,that could also be used for a bid.
The new international terminal will require an investment of some $254 million and have a capacity for up to 3 million passengers per year. It will occupy 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) in the heart of the fast-growing Riviera Maya real estate market.
Other bidders expected to compete for the project include Spanish company, Abertis; French company,Bouygues Batiment International; OMA,operator of northern Mexican airports including Monterrey and Acapulco; OHL,one of Spain's largest construction companies; GAP,operator of Mexican Pacific side airports including Guadalajara; IDEAL,construction company of Carlos Slim,the "richest man in the world"; and Grupo Mexico,a large Mexican industrial group.