MRT 7 seen completed in ’14
MANILA, Philippines—Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) expects to complete two of its big-ticket infrastructure projects—the MRT 7 train line and a new highway to La Union—by 2014 and 2015, respectively.
In a disclosure earlier this week, the company said it would start work on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 7 project—involving the construction of a 22-kilometer train line and the six-lane road beneath it—before the end of the year.
The project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion, with 25 percent to be funded by equity and the rest through loans.
SMC expects to shell out over $190 million for the project.
“It is expected to take three and a half years from the fourth quarter of 2011 to complete MRT 7,” SMC said.
The MRT 7 project will have 14 train stations from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to the corner of North Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) in Quezon City.
It will be linked with the MRT-3 train line and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 1 via a common station in North Avenue.
On Nov. 8, 2010, SMC acquired a 51-percent equity interest in Universal LRT, which holds the concession for MRT-7, a planned expansion of the metro rail system in Manila, home to more than 10 million people.
MRT 7 is one of the several rail extension projects for the existing metro rail system, which services Metro Manila.
SMC will have 25 years to operate the train line.
In the meantime, the conglomerate said the first phase of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) project, the stretch from Tarlac to Carmen, Pangasinan, was scheduled for completion by August 2012.
Revenue collection through toll will start immediately after the first phase is opened, “while the remainder of the expressway is projected to be completed by August 2014,” SMC said.
SMC currently holds a 25-percent stake in TPLEx concessionaire Private Infrastructure Development Corp. (PIDC), which is a joint venture between DM Consunji Inc. and DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc.
SMC has the right to increase its stake in the company through a P3.32-billion equity investment, which will help fund the project. This will increase SMC’s interest in the company to a controlling 51 percent.
The project cost for the development of TPLEx was estimated at P821.6 billion, which will be funded by a combination of debt (45.8 percent), equity (40.8 percent) and Philippine government subsidy (13.4 percent.)
The government subsidy will be available at the start of construction of Stage 3 of TPLEx, the section from Urdaneta to Rosario, Pangasinan.
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