GMR group wins $270 mn in Maldives airport dispute
After cancelling GMR's contract in 2012, Maldives in 2014 awarded a Chinese company with an agreement to upgrade the airport. Photograph: (Others)
India's GMR Infrastructure Ltd said on Thursday that an international tribunal had ruled the Maldives government should pay it $270 million in compensation for cancelling a contract to modernise and run the archipelago's main airport.
GMR said the compensation, awarded to one of its subsidiaries, covers the debt, equity invested in the project and a return of 17 per cent, as well as termination payments and legal costs net of taxes.
A spokesman for the Maldives government could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear how the three member Singapore-based tribunal, which ruled previously that the Maldives was liable for payment, would enforce its order.
Agreed in 2010, the $511 million deal for Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was the largest foreign investment in the Indian Ocean tropical island chain famous for its luxury beach resorts popular with honeymooners and scuba divers.
After cancelling GMR's contract in 2012, Maldives in 2014 awarded a Chinese company with an agreement to upgrade the airport.
"It has always been our firm belief that the cancellation of the concession agreement by the Government of Maldives was wrongful. We are happy to note that the Tribunal has unequivocally upheld this stand and closed the adjudication with a final award of compensation," GMR said in a statement.
India has been concerned about growing Chinese involvement in the Indian Ocean as Beijing opens its purse strings and builds a network of ports dubbed the String of Pearls.