Metro Pacific unit to borrow P36 billion for 2 new toll roads

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), plans to borrow P36 billion to partly finance the construction of two new toll roads in the Philippines: the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) and the C5 South Link Expressway.

Christopher Lizo, chief finance officer at Metro Pacific Tollways, said the firm is set to borrow P25 billion for CALAX and P11 billion for the C5 South Link.

"It is ongoing for C5 and CALAX. We expect to have financial closure by 1st quarter of 2018," Lizo had told reporters in an interview.

CALAX is the planned 44.6-kilometer, 4-lane toll road between the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

Lizo had said Australia's Leighton Holdings would build the Cavite side of CALAX, while DM Consunji Incorporated is in charge of the Laguna side. (READ: Metro Pacific sustains double-digit income growth despite tariff issues)

On top of the project's P35.42-billion construction cost, Metro Pacific Tollways unit MPCALA Holdings Incorporated paid the government a premium bid of P27.3 billion to win the infrastructure project.

MPCALA will operate and maintain CALAX for 35 years. After that, the operations and maintenance of the expressway will be in the government's hands.

Aside from CALAX, Metro Pacific's 7.7-kilometer, 6-lane C5 South Link deal is also in full swing.

The C5 South Link is seen to connect C5 Road to the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).

Around 45,000 vehicles are expected to benefit from the C5 South Link project, decongesting EDSA when it starts commercial operations in 2019.

Other than CALAX and the C5 South Link, Metro Pacific Tollways is about to start building the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

Its North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-SLEX connector road from C3 in Caloocan City to Sta Mesa in Manila is also set to start construction this year.

Metro Pacific Tollways operates the NLEX, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Cavitex. –