Monday, 18 April 2011

BM EXCLUSIVE: 44 firms bidding for LRT 1-MRT 3

Business Mirror

MANUEL V. PANGILINAN said last week his group is open to the possibility of partnering with other bidders vying for the operation and management contracts to operate two railway systems in Metro Manila.

Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the local flagship of Hong Kong’s First Pacific, said this when asked how his group was taking the news that a total of 44 local and foreign firms have formally expressed their intention to bid for the contracts of Light Rail Transit 1 and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3.

“You mean forming a partnership with the bidders? Yes, we are open to that. It’s quite good that many are going to bid for it,” he said in an interview last week.

Even before the government had issued an invitation for interested firms to submit a written expression of interest, MPIC, in a letter on January 17 to the Transportation and Finance departments, proposed to modernize the MRT 3 by infusing $300 million to double the train system’s capacity.

Separately, MPIC wants to gain control of the railway which services the high-traffic Edsa highway by buying out the government’s interest in MRT 3 for $1.1 billion.

But the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) wants projects to be auctioned off for transparency reasons to avoid a repeat of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3-Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. fiasco.

Besides MPIC, there were 43 other firms that submitted written expression of interest before the DOTC’s Special Bids and Awards Committee.

The other big firms, most of which are infrastructure developers, include Ayala Corp.; Optimal Infrastructure, which is 99.9-percent owned by San Miguel Holdings Corp.; First Balfour Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings Corp. of the Lopez group; Miescorrail, a subsidiary of Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp.; DM Consunji Inc.; Siemens; Sumitomo Corp.; Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB; Mitsubishi Corp.; Marubeni Corp.; Beijing’s Veolia Transport; Spain’s Construcciones Y Auxiliar de Ferrocarilles SA; England’s Serco Group PLC; Italy’s Finmeccanica S.p.A.; Strategic Industries Alcatel-Lucent; Autre Porte Technique Global Inc.; Abratique& Assoc. Phil. Inc.; Strategic Alliance Holdings Inc.; Federal Management & Maintenance, Inc.; Gracia Y Caridad Ministry Foundation; and PMP Inc.

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