Saturday, 3 July 2010

San Miguel and Metro Pacific in Clark airport talks

by Jeremiah F. de Guzman and Cecille Garcia
Manila Standard

Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. confirmed Thursday that it is in talks with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to build a modern terminal building in Clark Airport.

San Miguel made the disclosure after the chairman of Clark International Airport Corp. said Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan was holding negotiations with San Miguel president Ramon Ang to jointly construct a second terminal in Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.

“Mr. Pangilinan has already expressed intentions to contract the construction and management of the DMIA terminal II in partnership with San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang and the government should act swiftly to be able to realize the project without delays,” said Nestor Mangio, chairman of CIAC and concurrent head of Subic-Clark Alliance for Development.

Mangio told Manila Standard after the inauguration of the P308-million DMIA Terminal 1 Expansion Building over the weekend that Pangilinan, also chairman of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., had expressed strong interest to invest billions of pesos in tourism and transportation-related projects in Central Luzon.

Metro Pacific recently bagged the contract to maintain and operate the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. It also operates the 8-km Subic Tipo Road that connects SCTEx to the Subic Bay Freeport.

Mangio said DMIA also planned to build a high-speed railway system and airport hotels, similar to those in Hong Kong International Airport to complement the DMIA terminal expansion project.

“We have been asked to look at international airports, and we’re looking at it. All I know is the country needs a new international airport,” Pangilinan earlier said.

A Malaysian consortium, Bristeel Overseas Ventures Inc., earlier offered to invest $150 million to develop and expand DMIA Terminal to reach a passenger capacity of seven million annually. It proposed to enter into a joint venture agreement with CIAC on the project.

CIAC, however, said a joint venture special committee appears to favor Philco Aero Inc.’s proposal to instead build a second terminal building for the airport expansion.

DMIA Terminal 2 will San Miguel’s second investment in an airport project after acquiring a majority stake in Caticlan International Airport Development Corp., the developer of Caticlan Airport off Boracay Island.

DMIA, which is 85 km away from Naia, is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Special Economic Zone.

It is host to several foreign budget carriers, including Tiger Airways of Singapore, Air Asia of Malaysia and Asiana Airlines of Korea and local airlines like Cebu Pacific Air, South East Asian Airlines and Spirit of Manila Airlines.

The carriers fly to routes such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok and South Korea with connecting flights to the US, China and Japan.

Clark, which is part of major growth corridors, is about one-and-a-half to four hours away from other major Asian destinations.

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