Monday, 16 March 2009

Metro Pacific looking into Philippine airport project

Metro Pacific to extend NLEx to La Union
Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/regions/view/20090316-194367/Metro-Pacific-to-extend-NLEx-to-La-Union

ANGELES CITY—The Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) is considering investing in projects on the extension of the North Luzon Expressway up to Rosario, La Union, and the Terminal 2 of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at Clark Freeport.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead the groundbreaking rites for the NLEx expansion on April 8, said Manuel V. Pangilinan, MPIC chair, in an interview after the Holy Angel University here conferred on him an honorary doctorate degree in humanities and a medal of honor on Friday.

The expansion plan, with a tentative investment of P15 billion, is within the time frame set, he said.

It came four months after the MPIC bought the First Philippine Infrastructure Inc. that gave the MPIC a 67.1-percent stake in the Manila North Tollways Corp., NLEx franchise holder, and 46 percent equity in the Tollways Management Corp.

The acquisition was “doing very well and already complete,” said Pangilinan.

The MPIC is also considering venturing into the Terminal 2 project at the DMIA that is being pushed by the government-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), he added.

The CIAC has set the minimum investment at P4 billion. The proposed facility intends to serve three million passengers yearly.

“We’re also looking at the airport. We have not decided yet. Of course, I want to see if it’s okay. I hope we could do it,” Pangilinan said in Filipino.

He said he made a site visit to the DMIA in February. The government developed the DMIA from the aviation complex left by the United States military when it pulled out of Clark in 1991. The 2,500-hectare airport is fitted with two 3-km runways.

The CIAC board has allowed its joint venture selection committee to accept unsolicited proposals for the Terminal 2 project and reduced the requirements after the first bidding failed in 2008.

In the joint venture scheme, the CIAC and the proponent will take a 30-percent and 70-percent ownership share, respectively. The proponent will build, design, finance, equip and operate the Terminal 2.

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