Dentons advises on development of new international airport in Rwanda


Dentons is pleased to be advising Bugesera Airport Company Limited, a joint venture between the Firm's long-standing client Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construҫao Africa, S.A. (Mota-Engil) and Aviation Travel and Logistics Holdings Limited, on the development of a new US$418 million international airport in Rwanda, known as the Bugesera International Airport. The airport is being developed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure with support from the Government of Rwanda. Contracts were signed on 1 July 2017 and the project is now in the financing phase.


Bugesera International Airport, which is already under construction, will replace Rwanda's existing international airport, Kigali International Airport. Phase one of the project, which is due to be completed in 2018, will see the construction of passenger and cargo terminals and a 4200-meter runway able to handle large commercial airplanes. Later phases will see the development of a second runway and additional terminals. Following completion of phase one, Bugesera International Airport will have capacity for around 1.7 million passengers a year. This will increase to 4.5 million per year following completion of subsequent phases– a significant increase on the 800,000 passengers currently handled by Kigali International Airport.


Dentons is advising on all matters relating to airport project, including the development of the Concession Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and Bugesera Airport Company Limited for the development, construction and operation of the airport, and the development of a bespoke construction contract entered into between Bugesera Airport Company Limited and Mota-Engil for the design, construction, and testing of the airport as well as in relation to airport regulatory matters.


Dentons Projects partner John Woolley, who is leading on the advice to Bugesera Airport Company Limited, said, "This new airport demonstrates the Government of Rwanda's commitment to strengthening the country's infrastructure, and this project will play a vital role in enabling Rwanda to further develop business and tourism to support economic growth. We are delighted to be involved in delivering this significant project."


In addition to John Woolley, Dentons Project Finance partner Dominic Spacie, Projects senior associate Selena Strudwick, and Banking and Finance associate Tom Guilfoyle also advised Bugesera Airport Company Limited.


Dentons has acted on infrastructure projects around the world, such as toll roads projects in Greece, telecoms projects in Kuwait, power generation in East Africa, airport and road construction in East Africa and Russia, and alternative energy projects throughout Europe. Having worked in Africa for over 50 years, the Projects team has advised on infrastructure projects in Gabon, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, and has a long-standing and in-depth understanding of projects across the continent.


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