Metro Pacific to ‘slow down’ on PPP projects

Rappler.com
Sure to get the LRT Cavite extension project and hopeful to bag the Cavite-Laguna expressway project, the listed company 'might have to pause and digest those two projects'

SLOWING DOWN. Metro Pacific Investment Corp. would focus instead on big-ticket projects like the LRT-1 Cavite extension project. Photo from the PPP Center

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is set to slow down its uptake on public private partnership (PPP) projects to focus on current, major infrastructure developments. 

The listed company will instead concentrate on big-ticket projects, like the P65-billion ($1.5 billion) Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension project, MPIC chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters Wednesday, June 11.

MPIC is also hopeful to win the proposed P35.4-billion ($808.8 million) Cavite-Laguna expressway (Calax) project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“So we might have to pause and digest those two projects,” Pangilinan said.

MPIC, through MPCALA Holdings, is one of the 4 pre-qualified bidders for the Calax expressway project. 

On Wednesday, San Miguel Corporation’s bid for Calax was disqualified by DPWH for not complying with the bidding rules, particularly on the validity of its bid security, after MPIC and two other bidders raised questions.

MPIC’s Calax offer, along with the financial bids of Malaysia’s Alloy MTD Philippines and Team “Orion” of conglomerate Ayala Corporation and Aboitiz Group, is scheduled for opening Friday, June 13.

“I think it partly depends on the outcome of the Calax bidding. If we are fortunate enough to win the project, we will have a large commitment because of the LRT-1 project,” Pangilinan said.

Other tollroad projects

On June 5, MPIC-led Light Rail Manila Consortium, the sole bidder, offered P9.35 billion ($43.8 million) to undertake the LRT-1 Cavite extension project.

MPIC leads the consortium with 55% stake; Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, 35%; and Macquaire Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd., 10%.

The consortium’s offer would still have to be scrutinized by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) and the NEDA board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.

Pangilinan added the company’s tollways units are also pursuing major expansion projects not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia.

“So the plate of the tollways group is full,” Pangilinan said.

MPIC owns the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), and Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation (CIC).

MPIC’s tollways group operates the 90-km North Luzon expressway (NLEX), the 14-km Manila Cavite toll expressway (Cavitex), and the 88-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEX).

MPIC’s tandem with Ayala, through the AF Consortium, also bagged the P1.72-billion ($39.2-milllion) automated fare collection system (AFCS), the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) ticketing project.

The company is also looking at several tollroad projects in Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, Pangilinan added. Rappler.com