10 Nov 2014

New Vanuatu airport to cost 'nothing'

11:47 am on 10 November 2014

A Singaporean based consortium proposing to build a huge airport in Vanuatu says the development should not cost the country anything.

Port Vila international airport

Port Vila international airport Photo: RNZ

Full interview

The Vanuatu Trade Development Ltd has a plan for a greenfields airport development and a temporary upgrade of the runway at the present airport, Bauerfield.

However the government appears to have scotched it after an outcry because a previous administration had signed a promissory note with the company for 350 million US dollars.

But the managing director of Hermsley Capital, one of the consortium partners, Byron Koh, says that note would only be applied if the government expropriated their investment.

"That is the only way the VTD can claim against that promissory note and the promissory note covers purely the construction costs of the airport only. So it is designed to be a disincentive for government to expropriate the airport by coming and taking physical control of the airport during the concession period. That is the function of the promissory note."

The managing director of Hermsley Capital, and one of the consortium partners, Byron Koh.

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