MPIC to rival Ayala for North-South Railway deal
MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and Ayala Corporation, partners for several public-private partnership (PPP) deals, will be going head-to-head for the most expensive public-private partnership (PPP) project thus far: the P170.7-billion ($3.78-billion) South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP).
Ayala will partner with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Incorporated for NSRP. The two companies once partnered in 2014 and formed Team Orion to participate in the first auction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).
The Ayala-Aboitiz consortium, however, did not participate in the rebidding of CALAX, which was later on bagged by the group led by MPIC.
"A lot are speculating that we will partner with Ayala, but we won't. Ayala will be with Aboitiz. We are actually forming a strong consortium with 3 local companies and two foreign firms," MPIC vice president for business development Karim Garcia told reporters on the sidelines of a business forum in Makati City.
Garcia said MPIC will lead the consortium, which will be called Metro Heavy Alliance.
"It's very, very strong [and] deep-pocketed," the MPIC executive said, declining to mention the names of the companies.
MPIC and Ayala signed a memorandum of agreement in 2012, forming an exclusive strategic partnership, with each owning a 50% stake in light rail projects and other estate development deals.
"But the 2012 agreement is only for light rail projects. NSRP is heavy rail," Garcia said.
Garcia said more time is needed for interested companies to set up a consortium and comply with all the requirements.
"The deadline for pre-qualification documents is on April 15. It is very tight so we sent a letter to the NSRP PBAC (Pre-qualification, Bids, and Awards Committee) to allow us to have more time to form our consortium," Garcia told reporters.
"A lot of queries to the PBAC have not been answered yet, so we encourage the PBAC and DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) to answer the questions first and allow us an extension," he added.
In a notice, DOTC Undersecretary for Procurement and Administration Catherine Gonzales said the agency postponed the deadline of pre-qualification documents "until further notice."
It was in July 2015 when the Philippine government began the bidding for the South Line of NSRP.
Other than MPIC and Ayala, San Miguel Corporation has also expressed interest in the NSRP South Line project.
Under the project's terms, the winning bidder will take charge of designing, constructing, financing, operating, and maintaining the following services:
- The 56-kilometer Commuter Rail service, for daily riders on the Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna route
- The 478-kilometer Long-Haul Rail service, for travelers on the Tutuban, Manila to Legazpi, Albay, route
Once the entire railway is operational in 2020, there will be 10 daily trips with 7 train sets passing through 66 stations.
It is expected to generate a demand of 316,000 passengers daily on its opening year, and is projected to entice around 44,000 public and private vehicle users to shift their commutes to the modernized railway. – Rappler.com
$1 = P46.07