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Mactan airport project lures more interest

Posted on April 18, 2013 11:49:34 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
THE PROJECT to expand and operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) passenger terminal has attracted a prospective investor from Malaysia ahead of the Monday deadline to submit documents to qualify for the venture’s auction, the Transportation department said in a statement yesterday.
The latest list showed Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd. has joined 11 others in purchasing prequalification documents for the public-private partnership (PPP) project.
The 11 others that had purchased such documents earlier were: Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; AboitizLand, Inc.; Filinvest Development Corp.; MacroAsia Corp.; San Miguel Corp.; Megawide Construction Corp.; Prime Power Holdings Corp.; GMR Infrastructure Ltd.; First Philippine Holdings, Inc.; and SM Investments Corp.
MPIC has teamed up with JG Summit, which controls budget carrier Cebu Pacific, while Megawide has partnered with India-based airport builder GMF Infrastructure.
Cebu-based AboitizLand has partnered with Ayala Corp. Both firms have tapped US-based ADC & HAS Airports Inc. as airport operator.
Submission and opening of prequalification documents will be on Monday next week, while bidding will be on August 2.
The P17.5-billion project covers the construction of a new terminal beside the existing building, rehabilitation of the existing facility, as well as operation and maintenance of the entire airport once passenger facilities have been expanded.
The department said it was confident that the airport project will generate the same level of interest as the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS). “We are optimistic that the MCIA project will generate the same level of interest from major local and international companies as what we saw from the AFCS project,” the Transportation department said.
The P1.72-billion AFCS, which involves a common ticketing system for Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and Light Transit Lines 1 and 2, has attracted nine consortia during. Parties that will be qualified to take part in the bidding for this project will be known by next month.
The department said it expects foreign airport operators to take part in the MCIA project auction “because of the lack of local expertise in that area.”
“Based on our requirements, Philippine companies will have to partner with established airport operators from other countries,” the statement read. “This will benefit our domestic air transport industry, as technology transfer will give local players the opportunity to learn from more advanced and more experienced airport operators.”
Only three PPP deals have been auctioned off since this government thrust was launched in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The P1.96-billion Daang Hari-Southern Luzon Expressway link was awarded to Ayala Corp. in December 2011. The P16.42-billion, two-segment first phase of the School Infrastructure Project was awarded in September last year to the BF Corp.-Riverbanks Development Corp. as well as Citicore Investments Holdings, Inc.-Megawide consortia. The P15.86-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway project was bagged by San Miguel Corp. in an auction just last Monday. Issuance of the notice of award and contract signing is set for next month. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon
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