COLOMBO, May 26 (Reuters) - Construction firm Saudi Binladin Group has secured a contract to build a new passenger terminal at the Maldives international airport which is being built at a total cost of $800 million, the Maldives government said on Thursday.
Binladin will lead the construction of the new terminal on a 78,000 square metre area of reclaimed land in the southwest of the airport island in Maldives, with 12 jetties and six aero-bridges. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Maldives attracted 1.2 million tourists in 2015.
Maldives government officials declined to comment on the size of the contract with Binladin.
The project is estimated to cost around $800 million in total and the Maldives is seeking funding from the China EXIM Bank, the Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund, and the Saudi Fund for Development, the government said in a statement.
Officials from Binladin could not be reached immediately for comment.
It is the first contract in Maldives for the Middle East’s largest construction firm, which Saudi Arabia had barred from bidding for new state contracts after one of its cranes fell in Mecca’s Grand Mosque during a storm last September, killing 107 people.
This ban was lifted three weeks ago.
Binladin Group last week secured a 2.5 billion riyal ($667 million) loan from local banks to ease its financial pressures.
The construction firm has been hit by a general slump in construction after the government cut spending in response to low oil prices. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Keith Weir)