Eduardo Eurnekian

Miércoles, junio 18th, 2014

Eurnekian opens two airports in Brazil in record time

Before the World Cup, Mr. Eurnekian, together with his Brazilian partner, officially opened  the air terminals of Brasilia and Natal, which had been scheduled to be completed for the end of this year; now he will promote a wind farm and the Bioceánico Corridor.

eurnekian-americas

By Alberto Armendariz

São Paulo.- To match the World Cup underway in Brazil, businessman Eduardo Eurnekian has already scored two goals for Argentina there. With the official opening , in record time, of the airports of Brasilia and Natal, whose bids he had been awarded through the Inframérica consortium, -comprised of Corporación América and Brazilian company Engevix- Eurnekian promotes a better integration between Argentina and Brazil, not only in the airport industry , but also in the sectors of technology, energy and logistics.

“We Latin Americans are always talking about integration, but we are not integrated. My personal and business projects are based on integration. I don’t devise projects thinking about Argentina or Brazil; I devise projects, with our own developed technology, to take them abroad. In today’s world, if you lack critical mass, you just disappear. And the critical mass has to be achieved with our neighbors. This is why I give particular importance to the mutual infrastructure works”, highlights the 81-year-old businessman, in an interview with Clarín and LA NACIÓN, on Monday 9 June, after the opening of the new Natal airport.

This was the first terminal to be privatized by Dilma Rousseff’s administration back in 2011. The plan was to build a new airport that would replace the previous one and serve as a trampoline for the tourist development of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. Even though the contract stipulated that the airport had to be finished by the end of this year, the winning consortium set it as an objective to open it before the World Cup. And they succeeded in it, regardless of the fact that the government did not comply with several of its duties, such as the construction of an access road, which was finally built by Inframérica itself.

“We knew, right from the beginning, that the administrative time frames for construction works contracting were somehow not going well, but we didn’t let our performance be delineated by the delays of any John Doe out there. With our partner we decided to generate confidence, and for that reason we had to meet the schedule established. Although we knew the government was not going to comply with the construction of the connection road, we did our part”, stated Mr. Eurnekian, whose company, Corporación América, operates 53 airports around the world.

With USD 300 million invested in a cutting-edge air terminal equipped with 42 check-in desks, six boarding air bridges and a 210,000 m2 operations yard, the airport’s capacity was increased to eight million passengers a year. And the result has been praised all around Brazil these last days. The same had happened in mid-April, when the renewed South terminal of Brasilia airport was opened, joined this week by the renewed North terminal. The total investment amounted to USD 610 million to add 16 air bridges to the 13 available, and to increase the capacity from 16 to 21 million passengers a year.

“This doesn’t seem to be Brazil”, acknowledged Civil Aviation minister, Moreira Franco, under the watchful eye of president Rousseff.

Eurnekian, however, is not interested in national rivalries. On the contrary, last month he bought a large part of a semiconductors plant in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais with the idea of connecting it with the plant he already has in Chascomús, Unitec Blue, to integrate them as part of a plan of continental reach.

CRITICAL MASS

The entrepreneur is also working on the creation of a wind farm network to supply energy to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. And he has recently invited his Brazilian partner to take part in the Bioceánico Aconcagua Corridor, which will enable rail cargo transport between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans through the Andes.

“I think the Brazilian presence in this project will be crucial. Brazil is a strong capitalist partner, with a powerful industry that should to be taken into account in any development process”, highlighted the businessman.

“Integration will give us critical mass. No country in Latin America can exceed alone the production levels of the United States, China, India, Russia or the European Union, because they have critical mass. The other step to be taken is to integrate the technological development. If we fail to start developing our own technology, we will always be drifting”, stated Eurnekian.

GOALS SCORED BY AN ARGENTINE IN THE LAND OF SAMBA

  • First Privatization

With his local partner, the businessman conducted the construction works in Natal airport, the first air terminal to be privatized by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff back in 2011.

  • Technology

In the state of Minas Gerais, Mr. Eurnekian bought a large part of a semiconductors factory which he plans to complement with the factory he already owns in Chascomús, called Unitec Blue, to integrate both companies in a regional expansion plan.

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