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Expressway dike project woos 19 investor groups

/ 12:05 AM September 01, 2014

Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, the Aboitiz group and Malaysian conglomerate Alloy MTD are joining the fray in the bidding for the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike public private partnership (PPP) deal, which has already drawn some of the biggest business names in the country.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said that 19 companies as of Aug. 29  have acquired bid documents for the PPP deal, which involves a massive 47-kilometer expressway, flood control dike and a 700-hectare land reclamation component near Taguig and Muntinlupa.

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Canilao said those that recently bought bid documents ahead of the Oct. 16 prequalification deadline were Megawide Construction Corp., Aboitiz Group, JG Summit Holdings, PT Star Line and State Properties Corp.

That adds to a growing list that last week had only 14 names, including San Miguel Corp., Georgy Ty’s GT Capital Holdings, Lucio Tan’s LT Group, Ayala Land Inc., Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp., Filinvest Land and Metro Pacific Investments, led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan. Foreign groups keen on the project include Muhibbah Engineering Corp. of Malaysia, Egis Projects SA of France and Australia’s Leighton Contractors, Canilao said.

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It was not immediately clear if the 19 companies counted by the PPP Center included Alloy MTD. Isaac David, president of Alloy MTD Philippines, said that they bought bid documents and would partner with the group of businessman Manuel Villar’s Vista Land, the Wenceslao Group and South Korea’s Hanshin Group.

Canilao said the high interest in the project was partly due to its large real estate component, or the reclamation of 700 hectares of land near booming business districts in Southern Metro Manila. This explains why several of the names involved are either connected to or are themselves property developers.

JG Summit owns Robinsons Land Corp. while GT Capital Holdings is the owner of Federal Land Inc. Also returning are the Aboitizes, whose Aboitiz Land earlier partnered with Ayala Corp. to bid for the P35.4-billion Cavite Laguna Expressway, which has yet to be awarded pending the final decision of President Aquino on an appeal filed by San Miguel.

The groups were also expected to form partnerships, given the size of the project, Canilao had said.

Excluding the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, the PPP Center said it would roll out at least 18 other projects before June next year as part of its goal to ensure the sustainability of the program and the development of key infrastructure beyond President Aquino’s current term.

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