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US firm wins Clark airport project

Vol. XXII, No. 42 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

A US-BASED FIRM has been declared the conditional winner for the contract to build and operate the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Passenger Terminal 2 in Clark Freeport, Pampanga.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) Chief Executive Victor Jose I. Luciano said Admiral Energy LLC was the only firm out of three bidders which passed the eligibility, technical and financial requirements.

The two others were local firms Philippine Regional Investment Development Corp. and Synergy International Resources Group Co. Ltd.

Admiral Energy, represented by Atty. Raul Correa, offered a P108-million upfront payment within 10 calendar days, a minimum guaranteed annual payment of P261 million, and a total proposed investment of P12.4 billion, almost double the floor price of P6.4 billion.

"We will start building the terminal immediately after the actual awarding of the project," Mr. Correa told BusinessWorld. "We have to meet the timetable set by President [Gloria Macapagal] Arroyo to finish by 2010."

Mr. Luciano said Admiral Energy would still undergo post-eligibility checks over the next week or so.

"If they pass the post-qualification, they will be awarded the project," he added.

Construction is expected to start about a month after the post-qualification is done. The project will be a joint venture with CIAC.

Clark is being groomed as the next "premiere gateway" to the Philippines, outside of the Manila international airport system which consists of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals 1, 2, and 3, and the Manila Domestic Airport.

Air transport officials have said the Clark airport system can be better than Manila’s since the former’s two parallel runways allow two aircraft to take off and land simultaneously.

Clark is expected to decongest the Manila airport system where NAIA-3, which opened in the third week of July, is the only one running below capacity. Excluding the new terminal, officials said Manila has been serving about 20 million passengers a year, above the designed annual capacity of 18 million passengers.

The new Clark terminal, which will complement an existing two million passengers per year facility, is expected to begin operations in 2010.

Officials said the facility was expected to service a potential market of around eight million passengers from northern and Central Luzon, and even Manila. — Paolo Luis G. Montecillo with a report from Rey Garcia in Clark

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