Ayala to help bridge PH infra gap with more big projects

Ayala to help bridge PH infra gap with more big projects
The Ayala Group is exploring ways to finance its exposure in PPP projects in the next 5 years

MANILA, Philippines – Despite winning big-ticket public-private partnership (PPP) projects under the Aquino administration, conglomerate Ayala Corporation is looking into more infrastructure projects to help bridge the country’s infrastructure gap.

The Ayala Group has already expressed interest in the P123-billion ($2.82-billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project – the Aquino administration’s biggest PPP project.

The conglomerate is also looking into other rail and toll roads projects, including the extension of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT 2) and the possible privatization of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3).

The country’s infrastructure gap is hampering sustainable economic growth, thus the conglomerate would like to pursue projects to bridge it, Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation Executive Vice President Noel Kintanar, said Wednesday, July 2.

“It is not just one sector – I think the whole country is suffering from lack of infrastructure. We have to fill this gap as a country and I guess our participation in the PPP is a concrete manifestation on how we want to bridge that infrastructure gap,” Kintanar said.

PPP portfolio

Kintanar pointed out the Ayala Group has an exposure of between P13 billion ($297.73 million) and P14 billion ($320.63 million), and in the 7 PPP projects worth P100 billion ($2.29 billion) awarded by the Aquino administration.

The company is also in talks with 4 to 5 banks to finance its exposure in PPP projects over the next 5 years, Kintanar said.

“We’ll take a look at the projects that will enhance the current portfolio,” Kintanar said.

The infrastructure projects are expected to be a major source of cash flow, further enhancing the overall health of the Ayala Group, Kintanar added.

Ayala won the P2.01 billion ($46.03 million) bid for the Daang Hari-South Luzon expressway road link. The company is also part of the AF Consortium, together with infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) that bagged the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) project worth P1.72 billion ($39.39 million).

Likewise, the company is awaiting the issuance of the Notice of Award to the Light Rail Manila Consortium where it has a 35% interest, together with MPIC’s 55% stake, in the P65-billion ($1.49 billion) LRT 1 Cavite extension project.

Team Orion, a 50-50 joint venture with Aboitiz Land is also awaiting the issuance of Notice of Award for the P35.4-billion ($810.72 million) Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) though has indefinitely suspended the awarding of the Calax project to the Ayala-Aboitiz tandem after disqualified bidder San Miguel Corporation (SMC), whose appeal was rejected by the DPWH several times, elevated the issue to Office of the President. Rappler.com

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