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City news, 02.05.2007 17:22

Russia offers concession to run Petersburg airport

Pulkovo_airlines The city of St Petersburg will call a tender to offer a concession to run its Pulkovo airport, Russia's third largest, seeking in exchange $1 billion in investments, an official said on Saturday.

"We want to have the tender results in December 2008. I hope we will have the World Bank as our consultant," the city's Vice-Governor Yuri Molchanov told Reuters.

St Petersburg, the capital of Russia in tsarist times, is the home city of President Vladimir Putin. The city is expected to grow dynamically as some government institutions and large firms are moving there from Moscow.

Putin has called on the government to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, such as new seaports and airport, to support the country's economic growth.

Only three airports out of Russia's ten largest are controlled by private capital.

Moscow's largest airport Domodedovo is controlled by East Line, Yekaterinburg's Koltsovo is under the management of billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Renova group of companies.

Investment firm Basel of billionaire Oleg Deripaska last year bought control in the airport of Sochi, which is bidding to hold the 2014 winter Olympics.

Molchanov said the winner of the concession would have to invest 80 percent of the airport's total needs of 30 billion roubles ($1.17 billion).

He did not give the timeframe of the concession but said the city wanted to expand Pulkovo's annual capacity to 12 million passengers in four to six years from 4.4 million in 2006.

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(c) 2000