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November 1, 2001
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Siemens team wins bid to build international airport in Bangalore

A consortium led by Germany's Siemens group will become the foreign partner to build an international airport in Bangalore, state officials said on Thursday.

"We have chosen them as their partner and they have accepted the offer," an aide to S M Krishna, chief minister of Karnataka, which initiated the $250 million project, told Reuters.

According to the state government's plan, the foreign partner will hold a majority stake of 74 per cent in Bangalore International Airport Ltd, which will execute the project.

The Karnataka government and the Airports Authority of India will hold 13 per cent each.

Krishna said at the inauguration of the annual BangaloreIT.com trade show earlier on Thursday that the project was expected to start construction work in April 2002 and complete it in the next 30 months.

He said a technology park to build computer hardware will be set up as a special economic zone near the airport. He did not give details. Special economic zones usually offer tax breaks to encourage entrepreneurs.

Siemens won the airport project, long delayed by red tape, after beating another German-led consortium headed by construction group Hochtief AG.

With the Siemens team is Swiss company Unique Zurich Airport and Indian construction and engineering giant Larsen &Toubro as members.

The project would be spread over 4,200 acres at Devanahalli, some 40 km from Bangalore.

The Siemens consortium sees an initial capacity of 3.7 million passengers and 140,000 tonnes of cargo a year for the airport, considered crucial to further a heady software boom which picked up momentum from the mid-1990s.

German airline Lufthansa launched flights to Bangalore in September, while Malaysian Airline System recently added frequencies to the city.

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