InterVISTAS, which has signed a contract with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Lithuanian Airports, will assist the government in drafting the terms and conditions for the concession tender, define the concession aims and objectives and negotiate with participants in the concession tender.
One of the key tasks for consultants is to ensure that the interests of the state are met in the project:to generate the maximum benefit for the state and to guarantee the Lithuanian national security interests.
Rimantas Sinkevičius, Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, says that the concession project will not only help Lithuania in the development of its airports but also contribute to the achievement of prominent results in the Baltic market.
“The aviation sector in Lithuania is often undeservedly forgotten and underestimated but its impact on the country’s economy is tremendous," admits Sinkevičius.
"With the concession partner, we can make our first firm steps in developing the airport concession project which is indeed necessary for the country."
InterVISTAS is a Dutch capital company which has already delivered a number of complex projects in the spheres of airport and airline operations and rendered consulting services to state and private investors and operators in airport concession projects.
The firm's ability to evaluate the interests of all stakeholders will be vital in evaluating the tenders submitted by potential concessionaires and striving for the project’s success.
"Aviation development is of paramount importance to Lithuania owing to the country’s limited connectivity and the impact of aviation on economic development," says Gediminas Almantas, managing director of Lithuanian Airports.
"Good connectivity has a direct impact on new investments, export and tourist flows. With a broader economic effect on the country, this project is an excellent opportunity for us to become the leaders in the region's aviation sector,
"With the concession partner, we can make our first firm steps in developing the airport concession project which is indeed necessary for the country.”
The public agency Invest Lithuania contributed to Lithuania’s search for an adviser in the strategic project.
It participated in drafting the documents for consultant selection, played an expert role in tendering procedures and represented the interests of Lithuanian airports in negotiations with the tenderers over the consulting contract.
According to Tadas Jagminas, director of project management department at Invest Lithuania, it is great that the aim of the tender was achieved by attracting an especially strong international consulting group.
“The successful tenderer has substantial experience in consulting on airport concession structuring; it has delivered consulting services to public sector on the already signed airport concession contracts," he says.
"We are hoping that the experience of the consultants will help us achieve our goal of making the concession of Lithuanian airports another successful example of concession of European airports.
"The hiring of competent experts for the projects of such type is also taken into account by foreign investors implementing such projects."
The future concessionaire is to meet several major goals – expansion of connectivity of the three airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga belonging to the Lithuanian airport network; development of infrastructure through the funding of strategic development projects and improvement of quality in airport services as well as the payback to the state for the use of its capital.
The consultants will work in two stages – the documents for the concessionaire selection tender will be drafted and approved during the first four months; they will detail the project's investment value and expected results.
The second stage, which will take up to 1.5 years, will include the selection process and the conclusion of the contract with its successful tenderer.
The consultants' work – technical, financial and legal services – will only start after the package of legal acts permitting the concession of Lithuanian airports is adopted and takes effect.
The Lithuanian Parliament expects to consider this issue in the beginning of May.