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LIMA, April 25 (Reuters) - A consortium formed by holding companies from Argentina and Peru won a contract on Friday for building an airport that could cost up to $658 million and that will link global tourists to Peru's popular Machu Picchu ruins.
Argentine Corporacion America and Peruvian Andino Invesmtent Holding will build the airport in Peru's southeastern Cusco region, home to the former Incan citadel Machu Picchu, Transportation Minister Carlos Paredes said.
The local consortium the two companies created, Kuntur Wasi, beat out two other bidders and is now expected to build the airport in five years after starting work by 2016.
Kuntur Wasi will invest 53 percent percent of the total investment in the project, estimated at $539 million or $658 million if future expansions and renovations are carried out, said Paredes.
The government will pay for the remaining 47 percent.
The airport, called Chinchero, will be able to handle the transit of at least 5 million travelers per year, Paredes said.
The company will operate the airport in a 40-year public-private concession. (Reporting By Marco Aquino and Teresa Cespedes; Editing by David Gregorio)