Greece has extended to June 27 the deadline for bids to build and operate a new airport on the island of Crete, an Infrastructure Ministry official familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The government, which signed up to a third international bailout last year, had initially set a May 6 deadline for submission of binding bids for the build-operate transfer (BOT) project worth an estimated 850 million euros.
Interested parties sought an extension, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The Crete Kasteli airport project is expected to be the fourth biggest airport in Greece in terms of traffic and would replace the aging Iraklio Airport now struggling to handle nearly 2.6 million tourists a year.
Greece has made several fruitless attempts to build the facility since 2010, with its debt crisis scaring investors away.
France’s Vinci was expected to make a joint bid with Greek contractor Ellaktor, as was Spain’s ACS with GEK-Terna, officials from the Greek companies have told Reuters.
China State Construction Engineering and joint venture partner Zurich Airport were also interested in the project, according to a ministerial decision which extended a previous February deadline.