Philippine economy

3 potential bidders for Davao Sasa port project

Chrisee Dela Paz

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3 potential bidders for Davao Sasa port project
So far, San Miguel Corporation, Davao International Container Terminal, and Portek International have bought bid documents for the country's first seaport PPP project

MANILA, Philippines – Three companies have set their sights on the P17-billion ($382.32 million) deal to finance, design, redevelop, and operate and maintain (O&M) Davao’s main port for 30 years.

As of Thursday, May 21, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Davao International Container Terminal Incorporated (DICT), and Portek International Limited have bought bid documents, according to Christine Antonio, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center director for project development service.

In April, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) published an invitation to pre-qualify and bid for the country’s first seaport PPP project, showing that it consists of two parts, namely:

  • Modernization of the existing port and establishment of dedicated container handling facilities with initial design capacity of 1,900-2,700 container ground slots – from 864 container yard ground slots currently – consisting of, among others: construction of a new apron, development of a linear quay, expansion of back-up area, provision of container yards and warehouses, as well as installation of container handling equipment like ship-to-shore cranes and rubber-tired gantry
  • Operation and maintenance of the port within a 30-year concession period

Enrique Razon Jr, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI), told reporters in April “we may not bid” for the seaport project.

Should it participate in the auction of Davao Sasa port modernization project, this would be ICTSI’s first time to bid for a PPP deal.

An Ayala Corporation official, who requested anonymity, said in a mobile phone reply: “Ayala will not be pursuing this project at this time, as it is not strategic in its medium-term infrastructure plans.”

The published invitation said that the existing facility has a total area of 18.1 hectares, inclusive of a 4.15-hectare container yard, and annual capacity of 550,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

PPA General Manager Juan Sta Ana said in February that his agency expects volumes handled at the port “to hit 1.2 million TEUs in the next 5 years.”

“The project will involve the development of the existing Davao Sasa Port in Davao City into a modern, international-standard container terminal that will improve trade access to Mindanao and the Philippines by providing a dedicated containerized port in the region,” the PPP Center said on its website.

“This will in turn support the region’s growing agro-industrial sector, spurring economic growth in Mindanao.”

The deadline of submission of pre-qualification documents is targeted in February next year, DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal told reporters in April.

The notice of pre-qualified bidders will be in September, Sagcal added.

The department targets a March 2016 notice of award for the project and hopes to complete construction by December 2019.

The Development Bank of the Philippines and the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, have been appointed by the implementing agencies as transaction advisers.

The bidding, according to DOTC and PPA, is open to all interested parties, whether local or foreign, subject to conditions for eligibility under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law and the invitation documents.

“A local entity can either be a partnership or a corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In case of a foreign entity, it may be registered with the appropriate government agency equivalent to the SEC in the country where it was registered for recognition or creation of its judicial personal capacity,” according to the published invitation to bid.

The seaport project is the latest offered to investors under the government’s flagship infrastructure program that was launched in 2010. –

US$1= P44.46

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