Saturday, 13 February 2010

SMC eyes $200-m Clark jet hub in Clark

Joyce Pangco Pañares
Manila Standard

Food and beverage company San Miguel Corp. plans to invest an initial $200 million for a corporate jet hub inside Clark Freeport Zone, Clark International Airport Corp. president Victor Luciano said Thursday.

Luciano told Malacañang reporters during a motorcade at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport with President Gloria Arroyo that San Miguel president Ramon Ang called him up earlier this week to confirm the company’s plan to build a hub in Clark.

“Initially we are looking for at least half a hectare for the SMC corporate jet hub, which will cost around $200 million,” Luciano said.

He said Malaysian budget airline Air Asia would also put up a logistics hub and a terminal inside the free port.

Mrs. Arroyo said the entry of the new locators would bring the total number of logistics and services hubs in Clark to 10.

The President noted that the $1-billion Global Gateway Logistics by the Kuwait Gulf and Link Investment Co., the largest single logistics hub in the Philippines, was nearing completion.

Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific are among the airline companies that have set up logistics and services hubs in the country.

Luciano also announced that local airline Spirit of Manila would start its maiden flight to Taipei today at the DMIA.

Spirit of Manila Airlines has just acquired its second McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, which has a seating capacity of 160 for three flights weekly to Taiwan.

Luciano said traffic at DMIA had increased to 2,600 flights last year, with close to 600,000 passengers arriving in the airport.

Arrivals in DMIA now accounted for almost 10 percent of the total passenger arrivals in the country, he said.

San Miguel, meanwhile, has embarked on expansions and new acquisitions as the conglomerate diversifies into heavy industry such as power, infrastructure and utilities.

San Miguel earlier submitted a bid for the privatization of the 246-megawatt Angat hydroelectric power plant in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

The company has also expressed interest in the operation and management of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

San Miguel Brewery Inc., its brewery unit, has completed the acquisition of the international beer business of its parent for $300 million.

San Miguel Brewery signed a share-purchase agreement in December with San Miguel Corp. for the acquisition.

San Miguel Brewery, which is 51-percent owned by San Miguel Corp. and 48 percent held by Tokyo-based Kirin Holdings Co., said the transaction would be funded through borrowings. The company last week hired 10 banks to arrange a $300-million borrowing.

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