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SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), September 24 (SeeNews) - UAE-based Mazaya Consulting is interested in investing in a project to build a civil airport in the northwestern town of Bihac, the local authorities said.
Mazaya Consulting has been exploring the investment possibilities in the northwestern Una-Sana Canton, where Bihac is located, and the first project it is offering to invest in is the Bihac airport, the cantonal government said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the statement, Mazaya representatives have been working for several months now on preparing their offer for the project.
The statement gave no further details but local news wire eKapija.com reported on Wednesday that Mazaya has presented a feasibility study on the project, identifying three possible alternatives for financing it.
They include a public-private partnership project, a joint investment with the state-owned operator of the Bihac airport, or a complete privatisation of the airport, the report said.
Bihac currently has only a small sports airport, but Bosnia's Federation government decided in 2016 to work towards building a bigger airport for civilian flights to help boost the economy of the region.
According to earlier media reports, the construction of the Bihac airport could be completed in two to four years, requiring an estimated investment of some 100 million marka, including all infrastructure works and road connections.
Last week, the Federation government increased its support for the development of the airport to 5.535 million marka ($3.1 million/2.8 million euro) from 3.535 million marka allocated initially, with the funds coming from the 2019 budget.
As part of the project, in July Sarajevo-based engineering company Euro-Asfalt started construction works on a new 300-metre test runway section at Bihac Airport. The total value of the works is some 2 million marka.
The Una-Sana Canton is one of the ten cantons of Bosnia's Federation.
The Federation is one of two autonomous entities forming Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.
(1 euro = 1.95583 marka)