Palau, Sojitz Corporation and Japan Airport Terminal yesterday signed the much anticipated joint venture agreement, beginning the process of the Palau International Airport terminal multi-million project. Representatives from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries (MPPIC)and Commerce, Sojitz and Japan International Terminal (JATCO) signed yesterday morning at the Capitol Building the agreement which will allow the renovation, expansion and operation of the Palau International Airport by a Sojitz Corporation and JATCO in a partnership with Palau government.
This agreement is the first public-private partnership scheme in Palau and in the region. In an earlier feasibility study conducted by Sojitz and JATCO, the renovation and expansion of Palau Int'l Airport will cost approximately $31.413 million. This cost includes expansion and renovation of terminal building, airport security screening equipment, baggage handling systems, airport special IT systems, new cargo terminal and car parking lot.
The study projects the number of visitor arrivals to reach 900,000 by year 2035 based on current travel trends and aircraft movements. According .to the proposal, the private companies will seek financing for construction and improvement of the facility and there will be share management of the airport with clear demarcations between ROP and JV (joint venture partners).
Sojitz Corporation is one of seven biggest trading companies in Japan dealing with airline related business an infrastructure development & investment. Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd (JATCO) is the number 1 airport operator in Japan operating Haneda Airport. In the signing of the Joint Agreement, MPIIC Minister Charles Obichang said that the project is the result of the unity among the leaders Yasuhide Yonemoto, Senior Mnaging Director of JATCO said that the company has been operating the passenger terminal of Tokyo Haneda Air-port for over 60 years.
"With all the experiences and knowledge acquired at Haneda, we wish to contribute to the development of Palau International Airport, further More to the development of the Republic of Palau," Yonemoto stated during the signing ceromony. Meanwhile Takuaki Manganji, General Manager of Sojitz Corporation stated that their company is committed to integrate and utilize the respective knowledge and experiences (such as airport operating skills, close contacts with the influential airlines, etc.), to help Palau Airport become one of the most prominent and competitive tourist destination gateway airport in the Pacific region.
Vice President Raynold Oilouch was present to head the signing ceremony along with the members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau, traditional leaders and ministers. On August 21, President Remengesau will meet and sign a final Concession Agreement' with the members of the Concession and Japan's Vice Minister of Infrastructure pertaining to this project.