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TPLEX completes financial closing

(The Philippine Star) Updated July 15, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway (TPLEX) project, one of the country’s most important infrastructure undertakings to date, has wrapped up its financial closing, with BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) providing the bulk of its debt component.

The financial closing was formalized through the recent signing of a P11.5-billion term-loan facility among the lenders and the project’s proponent Private Infra Dev Corp. (PIDC), an all-Filipino consortium led by Rapid Thoroughfares, Inc., DMCI Group and D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. Apart from BDO, the other participating banks were Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines.

The TPLEX project, with an estimated cost of P19 billion, is being undertaken via a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract between the government -- through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) -- and PIDC.

It is an 88.58-kilometer (km), two-lane travel way (with provisions for widening) traversing from La Paz, Tarlac to Rosario, La Union. Once completed, it will reduce significantly the current travel time from Manila to Baguio.

Phase 1 or the construction of the two-lane travel way would be completed in five years.

“TPLEX is a momentous project because it has many firsts to its credit. It is the first all-Filipino owned public-private partnership (PPP) project; the first PPP project funded by all-Filipino banks; and, the first toll road project under the PPP that completed its financial close,” said BDO president Nestor V. Tan.

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