EXIM bank of China has released a payment of US$108 million for the construction of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA).
The upgrade of the KKIA will cost US$360 million which will be financed by the Exim Bank of China through a loan facility signed by the Government.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Yamfwa Mukanga confirmed the development in Lusaka yesterday.
The minister said the airport would be upgraded by China Jiangxi International at a cost of US$360 million and is expected to be finished in 2018.
“We are looking at the programme of works and we have told the contractor that the programme of works should be handed in by Friday because we want to have a programme other than just working so that we can review it,” he said.
The new airport will contain a new two-storey terminal building,22 check-in counters, 12 border channels and six security check counters; a presidential terminal, a new air traffic control building and tower.
It will also include a new Zambia Airport Corporation office, ashops complex and a hotel, among others.
Mr Mukanga said significant progress had been attained regarding the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport project following the thorough review of the architectural designs.
“Currently about 95 per cent of the drawing have already been done but out of those 95 per cent we have Rescue and Fire Appliance Bay which is done and we have a VIP lounge site which has been done also,” he said.
Mr Mukanga said they have other challenges that needed to be worked on adding that once the money is released in the China Jiangxi International account they will be a lot of progress.
“Most of the issues that were affecting construction were issues of understanding and ensuring the contractor does its part,” Mr Mukanga said.
Mr Mukanga said the funds for the construction of the KKIA were intact saying that the funds would be transferred directly into China Jiangxi International’s account.
“The money will be released directly into the contractors account from Exim Bank of China… it’s not coming from the ministry to the contractor even when we signed a loan the money moves from Exim Bank of China to the contractor and what we want is to see the result,” he
The new KKIA once completed will be a show piece in the region competing with the likes of OR Tambo in South Africa. ZACL is striving to make the airport a regional hub.