Slim's Carso, ICA land Mexico City airport's top contract

Monday, January 9, 2017

A consortium led by Mexican firms CICSA, part of Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso, and ICA was awarded the contract to build the terminal building of the planned Mexico City international airport.

The group submitted the lowest bid, for 84.8bn pesos (US$3.99bn), future operator GACM announced in a statement. It beat competing offers from a group led by Portugal's Mota-Engil and from a consortium headed by Spanish firm Construcciones Rubau to secure the largest contract of the 180bn-peso mega-project.

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The terminal building will be constructed in an X shape, covering 743,000m2 on four levels. It will be able to handle some 68mn passengers a year in its first stage of operations and 125mn passengers at a later stage. It will be built over a 315,193m2 concrete slab foundation, which will be supported by 5,173 precast pre-stressed piles. The project was designed by architects Norman Foster and Fernando Romero, who is Slim's son-in-law.

The design of the four-level terminal (CREDIT: GACM).

As part of its plans to make the airport 100% environmentally sustainable and attaining LEED certification, GACM said that green technology will be used to build the terminal, particularly its mechanical, electric and water and sanitation facilities.

According to GACM, the new terminal will be the third largest in the world, just behind the terminals at Dubai and Beijing international airports. Its construction must be completed 1,346 days from the signing of the contract.

Both CICSA and ICA had previously won other contracts in the airport project.

In September, a CICSA-led consortium won the contract for the construction of runway No. 3 with a bid of 7.36bn pesos. In October, a consortium that included ICA won the contract to build the foundations of the airport's terminal building.

The remaining members of consortium that won the terminal building contract are Constructora y Edificadora GIA+A, Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana, Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana de Infraestructura, La Peninsular Compañía Constructora, Operadora y Administración Técnica, Acciona Infraestructura and its Mexican subsidiary Acciona Infraestructura México, FCC Construcción, and FCC Industrial e Infraestructuras Energéticas.

Even before it was launched, the tender attracted wide interest. ICA and Spanish company Ferroval had signed a memorandum of understanding to present a joint bid in the tender, but the plans were scrapped due in part to the Mexican firm's mounting financial problems.

All of the major airport tenders have gone to consortiums led by Mexican firms. Another major contract, the one for the construction of the control tower, is set to be awarded on February 3.