Feb 052013

SINGAPORE – Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the largest toll road management firm in the Philippines, is settings its sights on Cebu and countries like Vietnam and Indonesia for expansion.

The tollway management unit of Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) will pursue almost 120 kilometers of toll roads in the two Southeast Asian countries as it conducts a study for a P26-billion toll bridge in Cebu, company officials said.

In a briefing, MPTC executives outlined the company’s expansion plans specifically in emerging Vietnam and Indonesia that, like the Philippines, need more infrastructures to help sustain robust economic growth.

MPTC president Ramoncito S. Fernandez said the company has identified the Becakayu toll road project in Indonesia as an investment opportunity.

“The project is envisioned to connect Jakarta to the eastern part of Bbekasi City,” he said.

It will be divided into two sections: the 10.167-kilometer Casablanca to Jaka Sampura and the 10.875-km Jaka Sampura to Marga segment.

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PT. Kresna Kusuma Dyandra Marga, which holds the 45-year concession of the expressway, earlier discussed the project with Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada (CMNP) but the latter found the entry at the high side.

There are plans to discuss with industrial firm Bouygues Group “for a potential partnership to include CMNP,” MPTC said.

In Vietnam, MPTC is looking at the six-lane, 98.7-km Dau Giay Phan Thiet Expressway project.

Key bid parameter is the viability gap financing amount requested by the bidder,” MPTC said.

The first public-private toll road project in Vietnam is currently undergoing the selection of a second investor under international competitive bidding as Vietnam’s Bitexco Group was already chosen as the principal investor.

Other components of the project are seven interchanges, 15 bridges, 10 flyovers, 19 overpasses and 15 underpasses, MPTC said.

In the Philippines, MPTC said it is conducting a feasibility study for the Cebu toll bridge project.

It will potentially be the third bridge to connect the main island of Cebu to airport hub Mactan Island.

The first option is the five-km Gen. Maxilom to Lapu-lapu link worth P17-26 billion while the other configuration is the 7.5-km Cebu South Road to Lapu-lapu link worth P17-19 billion.

To date, MPTC operates the 94-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, the 84-km North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the 14-km Manila-Cavite Expressway.

Meanwhile, MPTC has ironed out an issue with the unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for the P23.387-billion NLEx-South Luzon Expressway connector road project.

“[SMC’s Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp.] has agreed to allow the Swiss challenge to proceed on a level playing field. They will not participate. They voluntarily agreed to this,” MPIC president and CEO Jose Ma. K. Lim said.

MPTC earlier submitted an unsolicited proposal for the connector road, which is subject to Swiss challenge. But Skyway operator Citra also plans to build a 14-km, six-lane elevated toll way parallel to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) as a part of the Skyway contract it bagged in 1995.

SMC and the Pangilinan Group, rivals in numerous businesses like power distribution, telecommunications, mining and toll roads, agreed to share the expenses for the common alignment in the connector road.

“The agreement is they will build their own road and operate it. We will share to the extent of 37.5 percent after they have completed the road but we will keep the collections from our respective traffic,” Lim said.

MPTC expects the release of terms of reference for the Swiss challenge in March while the awarding of the project is scheduled in August.

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