Japan’s Marubeni Corporation has been awarded a contract worth 6.3 billion yen (approximately US$ 4.3 million) to build modern facilities at airports in Uzbekistan. The project focuses on control towers and passenger terminals at the Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench airports. Marubeni will subcontract some of the construction work to British and Turkish companies. Work is due to begin in October 1998 and to be completed in mid-2000.
This project represents the second phase of Uzbekistan’s airport construction and modernization program. The first-phase contract, worth 7.5 billion yen (approximately US$ 5.2 million), focused on construction of runways. It was awarded earlier to a Japanese consortium comprised of the Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Shimizu companies. Most of the financing is covered by a Japanese government-guaranteed loan amounting to 15.5 billion yen (approximately US$10.7 million at low interest rates. Uzbekistan aims to turn Samarkand, Bukhara, and Urgench into international airports, as way stations on the modern Silk Road from Europe to the Far East. (Kyodo, August 10)–VS
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