FIVE bidders turned up yesterday to hand in last-minute tenders for the new airport railway station on Tsing Yi Island. Individual developers and consortiums dashed to submit bids as tenders closed for the rights to develop Tsing Yi station on the Mass Transit Railway Corporation's (MTRC's) new line. It is believed one or two other groups tendered earlier in the week. Four of the five parties which cast bids on the final day included Cheung Kong Holdings, Sun Hung Kai Properties, and consortiums led by Sino Group and Hang Lung Development. The fifth was not identified. MTRC property director Thomas Ho refused to confirm the number of tenders received but said the response was good and results would be released by the end of the year. It is still unknown whether other major developers, such as Kerry Group and Chinachem Group, participated in the bidding. The station site, on Tsing Yi Island, is designated for residential use. Intended development includes 12 residential blocks, or 3,500 units with total floor area of 2.64 million square feet. The residential towers will be built on a landscaped podium above a district-scale shopping centre with floor area of 500,000 sq ft. Cheung Kong Holdings vice-chairman George Magnus yesterday confirmed the company's joint bid with its associated company, Hutchison Whampoa. Another competitor was a consortium formed by Swire Properties, Henderson Land Development, New World Development, Hang Lung Development and Hysan Development. Sino Group teamed up with Manhattan Garments International, Nan Fung Development, Great Eagle Holdings and Wing Tai for its bid. An early proposal suggested that Sino Land would hold 50 per cent of the consortium, while Manhattan took 20 per cent, Nan Fung Development 10 per cent, Wing Tai 10 per cent and Great Eagle Holdings 10 per cent. Sino Land executive director Micheal Cheng refused to confirm whether there was any change in the consortium's structure, but said that Sino Land would be the project manager if the group's bid was successful. Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) made an independent tender instead of a partnership with China Resources Group, as had earlier been forecast. Analysts had been expecting China Resources to team up with Sun Hung Kai, but it is rumoured that China Resources made a separate bid. Property analysts tipped Sun Hung Kai as the group most likely to offer the highest bid because of its related interests within the New Territories west area. The company is engaged in a residential project in Ah Ying Chau, which is close to the planned Tsing Yi station. It is a joint venture between Sun Hung Kai, China Resources and Cheung Kong Holdings for construction of 10 blocks, or 2,500 residential units. HG Asia analyst Franklin Lam believed the Ah Ying Chau project would be related to the development in Tsing Yi station. He said Sun Hung Kai would be particularly keen to win the tender in order to gain better control of property supply in the territories' western districts. 'Sun Hung Kai has a history of developing fast-track lands, and I believe developing the western side of the territory will be their strategy,' Mr Lam said. Trevor Cheung, property analyst with Credit Lyonnais, shared the view that Sun Hung Kai was seeking to dominate the district. 'Tsing Yi is still a small residential market, but it is expected to grow from 1998 onwards when the construction of the airport railway finishes,' Mr Cheung said. 'The first phrase of the Ah Ying Chau project will also be completed around that time and Sun Hung Kai can secure a better control on the price and the release date of residential properties if it wins the Tsing Yi plot as well,' he said. Both analysts believed the tender had achieved a good participation level. Mr Lam estimated the winning bid could be above $4 billion. Mr Cheung said the price was hard to estimate for the moment because the Government had not announced the land premium.