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Mactan airport project deemed more attractive

Posted on October 13, 2013 10:21:08 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

RECENT CHANGES to the concession agreement of the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) public-private partnership (PPP) project have made it “more attractive” to investors, a top official of a company prequalified for the auction told reporters last week.

“I think, certainly, that would be helpful to make it more attractive to private investors,” JG Summit Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei said last week when asked to comment on the tweaks in the bid contract.

The draft contract revisions, the department had said, involve:

• lengthening the concession period to 25 years from 20 years;

• transferring the operation and maintenance of the aprons from the grantors to the concessionaire, including the right to derive revenue from these areas;

• flexibility in the implementation of capacity augmentation;

• sharing of the real property tax liability; and

• raising the prohibition on competing airports to 20 years or when passenger traffic hits 20 million for three years, whichever is later, from 10 years/passenger traffic of 15 million per annum.

Asked on whether JG Summit and its partner, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) are keen on pursuing their bid, Mr. Gokongwei replied:

“We’re working on it very closely with our partner, with Metro Pacific.”

The MCIA auction has been moved to Nov. 15 from mid-October. The project was originally set to have been auctioned off last Aug. 28.

Seven groups have pre-qualified to bid: the MPIC-JG Summit consortium; AAA Airport Partners of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups; Filinvest-CAI consortium; San Miguel-Incheon Airport consortium; First Philippine Airports led by First Philippine Holdings, Inc.; Premier Airport Group led by SM Investments Corp.; and the GMR Infrastructure and Megawide consortium.

The MCIA project aims to modernize the country’s second-largest airport and gateway to the Visayas.

Work includes rehabilitation of the existing terminal and construction of a new building with an eight million annual passenger capacity.

The MCIA project was one of three the Transportation department was forced to defer last month -- the others being the P60-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 expansion project and the P1.72-billion automated fare collection system for Metro Manila’s light railways -- after prospective bidders raised concerns over contract terms. -- L. C. S. Marasigan           

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