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SM open to joining Manila Bay airport

By Jenniffer B. Austria | May. 20, 2014 at 12:01am [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

SM Investments Corp. has expressed interest in teaming up with San Miguel Corp. for the planned $10-billion airport project on a 1,600-hectare a portion of Manila Bay in Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite.

“We can talk. That’s what we need for our country to grow in the next stage,” SM Investments chief finance officer Jose Sio said in an interview at the sidelines of the company’s P15-billion bond listing with Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.

Sio said the proposed airport project would be good for the economy and help improve the country’s infrastructure.

The site of the proposed airport project is near the 300-hectare proposed reclamation project of SM group with the Pasay City government.

Sio, however, said there were no ongoing talks with San Miguel over the airport project.

San Miguel presented to Malacanang Palace last week the proposed $10-billion modern international airport.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the planned airport project would be designed to have four runways capable of handling 150 million passengers annually and could accommodate 250 takeoffs and landings per hour.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has a capacity of only 40 takeoffs and landings per hour, he said.

Ang said San Miguel could handle the financing of the project and was willing to invite other businessmen such as the Sys, Gokongweis and Zobels to participate in the development of the project.

Ang said the airport would be built on the project started by Cyber Bay Corp., which has already reclaimed 157 hectares.

Cyber Bay earlier planned to develop Cyber Bay City on Freedom Islands located along Manila-Cavite Coastal Road in the cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas and the town of Bacoor in Cavite.

Ang, who once served as chairman of Cyber Bay Corp., said as the whole project would require 1,600 hectares of land, San Miguel was in talks with a potential partner that would oversee the reclamation and construction of the project.

San Miguel, which also owns a stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, proposed to finance the $10-billion construction cost of the new airport project, including an expressway that will connect the airport to the Makati central business district.
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