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Firm to start work on NLEx segment Monday

/ 12:36 AM March 03, 2014

North Luzon Expressway. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The operator of the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) will formally begin construction today (Monday) of a new segment that will link the massive highway to the port area.

Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) announced the groundbreaking ceremony over the weekend for the 5.6-kilomter NLEx segment 10.1, also known as the Harbor Link. It will start from MacArthur Highway and run through C-3.

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The company was already preparing to fund the new tollroad phase, which will be completed in two years.

Part of the P10.5-billion project cost will be financed by MNTC’s P7-billion maiden bond offering, which can be launched by mid-March after obtaining the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to BDO Capital and Investment Corp., one of the deal arrangers.

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BDO Capital president Eduardo Francisco said they expected the bond sale to be at least twice overbooked, based on early discussions with institutional investors.

The NLEx segment 10.1 forms part of what will be called the  NLEx Metro Expressway Link, a P30-billion project. This includes segment 9, which runs from Smart Connect interchange to MacArthur Highway and will open this year. Meanwhile, segment 8.2 will be an 8-kilometer elevated connector road and, with a project cost of P18 billion, will be the single-largest component of the NLEx Metro Expressway Link.

The project aims to reduce congestion in Metro Manila by providing a more direct link between NLEx and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) through an elevated expressway mainly running over Philippine National Railway tracks. It will start from C-3 until PUP Sta. Mesa in Manila, the company said.

MNTC still needs the approval of the Toll Regulatory Board to start segment 10.2. However, it expects to obtain this within the quarter and start work in the third quarter this year to complete the project before President Aquino steps down in mid-2016.

New tollroads and increased traffic would help MNTC’s controlling shareholder Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. achieve higher revenues for the year.

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TAGS: Business, economy, Manila North Tollways Corp., News, North Luzon Expressway
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