Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pangilinan plans $300-M MRT-3 upgrade

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines – Manuel V. Pangilinan-led companies are on investment binge including a planned $300 million to $700 million for the refurbishment of Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3, a P28 billion capital expenditures (capex) of PLDT next year and more investments in the energy sector, including electric vehicles.

This was revealed by businessman Manny V. Pangilinan to reporters Tuesday at The 1st Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit in Meralco Multipurpose Hall in Pasig City.

According to Pangilinan, the planned investments in MRT 3 would be used for the capacity expansion of the EDSA Line. This includes the refurbishment of the line, new rolling stocks and signaling systems.

Earlier, Pangilinan said that Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) was eyeing an additional stake in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 project, on top of the 29 percent it is set to acquire from Sobrepeña-led Fil-Estate Corp.

The planned additional stake in MRT-3, however, is still subject to the consent of its shareholders.

MPIC, which is chaired by Pangilinan, has entered into an agreement to acquire Fil-Estate’s stake in four Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 companies. The four companies are Metro Rail Transit Holdings Inc., Metro Rail Transit II Inc., Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) and Monumento Rail Transit Corp.

Fil-Estate’s key investment is in the form of equity interest in Metro Rail Transit Holdings Inc. and Metro Rail Transit Holdings II. Its combined investment in these holding companies represented approximately 29 percent interest in the MRT-3 which runs along EDSA.

MPIC has also expressed interest in undertaking the operation and management (O&M) of MRT-3 as well as that of the Light Rail Transit (LRT)-1 which the government plans to privatize under the public-private partnership (PPP) program.

Pangilinan, who also chairs PLDT, said that capital expenditures for the country’s biggest telecommunications firm next year would be pegged at P28 billion, which is of the same level as the 2009 capex. (BCM)

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