San Miguel, Citra ‘studying’ investment in Star Tollway

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Fresh from losing the Daang Hari road project to the Ayala group, partners San Miguel Corp and the Citra group announce they are eyeing another toll road privatization project

MANILA, Philippines – Fresh from losing a road project south of the capital to the Ayala group, partners San Miguel Corp and the Citra group announced they are eyeing another toll road privatization project.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, the Filipino conglomerate and the infrastructure firm with Indonesian roots said they are “currently studying to invest in Phase 2 of the Star Tollway.”

Evaluation of the project will be complete within 30 to 45 days, the statement said.

The Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star Tollway), is a two- and four-lane 42-kilometer expressway that is part of the road system connecting capital Manila with southern parts of Luzon. Operated by the Star Infrastructure Development Corp. up to 2029, Star Tollway starts at Sto. Tomas and ends in Batangas City port.

Star has an application with the Toll Regulatory Board to re-pave certain lanes and widen the 21-kilometer Lipa-Batangas section. The estimated P2.5 billion works is expected to start mid-2012 and completed a year after.

Citra president Shadik Wahono said Star invited them to invest in the expansion project. “Travel within Star Tollway should be much smoother once the project is completed,” Wahono said.

San Miguel has several assets in Batangas province, including a power plant. Its wholly owned unit, San Miguel Holdings Corp., is conducting the study on Star Tollway with Citra.

The Citra Group, which is the private concessionaire of the South Metro Manila Skyway Project, an elevated toll road that connects the Manila to a portion of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).

San Miguel recently acquired a controlling stake in Citra’s unit that has a stake in the Skyway Project.

San Miguel and Citra previously made a bid for the Daang Hari-SLEx road link, the first public-private partnership project that the government auctioned off. They lost to the Ayala group. –

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