Ayala still keen on LRT-1 extension deal

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07:26 PM August 26th, 2013

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By: Michelle V. Remo, August 26th, 2013 07:26 PM

SINGAPORE—After backing out of the bidding of the LRT-1 extension project two weeks ago, the infrastructure arm of the Ayala Corp. is considering participating in the planned re-bidding of the project.

That is if the government would address the concerns over terms of the contract earlier raised by potential investors.

This was according to Noel Kintanar, executive vice president of the Ayalas’ AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. He said the company welcomed reports that the government would refine the terms of the public-private partnership (PPP) project to make them acceptable to prospective bidders.

Because there is a chance the terms of the project will be revised, he said, AC Infrastructure is not totally out of the picture yet.

“We understand the government is considering making some adjustments, and so we may still look into it,” Kintanar told the Inquirer Friday at the sidelines of a forum on Asean integration held in Singapore.

AC Infrastructure Corp. is part of the consortium that was pre-qualifed for the Aug. 15 bidding of the LRT-1 extension project. Its partner in the consortium, which was formed to invest in rail projects, is Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

AC Infrastructure, however, backed out of the LRT-1 project bidding, leaving Metro Pacific to bid on its own in behalf of the consortium. Metro Pacific’s bid, however, was rejected by the government after it was  declared non-compliant with the bidding terms.

Three other pre-qualified bidders backed out of the bidding.

Kintanar said AC Infrastructure backed out from the bidding because of issues related to the real property tax and fares.

He said the issues were seen to affect the profitability of the project.

Kintanar said that if the bidding terms would be refined and the concerns were properly addressed, the project was likely to generate interest from more prospective investors.

The project, which will extend LRT-1 to Cavite, was estimated to cost P60 billion.

“There is always interest among the private sector, but the contract must be structured properly. This means there should be sufficient opportunity to recoup investments,” Kintanar said.

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