MPIC open to revising offer for MRT 3
Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is open to revising its unsolicited offer for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) in Metro Manila, after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) tapped Japanese contractors for a long-term rehabilitation contract.
Metro Pacific CEO Jose K. Lim told reporters that while the group would still seek clarity on how to proceed, it considered the proposal “still live.”
“We probably have to reconfigure our proposal as an O&M (operations and maintenance),” Lim said.
Metro Pacific, which has been eyeing the MRT 3 since 2011, earlier said it would spend P12.5 billion to rehabilitate and maintain the MRT 3 over a 30-year concession period.
That figure could balloon to P20 billion when considering an equity buyout of its shareholders. It said the project would come at no cost to the government.
In 2017, the DOTr had endorsed the group’s proposal by awarding it an original proponent status. The following year, however, the DOTr said it would bring back the MRT 3’s original maintenance providers led by Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.
The scope of that project overlapped with key components of Metro Pacific’s offer, hence the need for revisions.
“We have not received any official word from them on how they want to do it,” Lim clarified.
He noted that the MRT, which runs along the busy Edsa road, was nevertheless strategic for Metro Pacific, which operates the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) in Metro Manila together with Ayala Corp.
“The interest has always been [MRT 3’s] connection to LRT 1. It forms a loop. If anyone can run that efficiently, it would be us,” Lim said.
It might be a longer wait for Metro Pacific, which is also involved in water supply, electricity distribution and tollroads, as the DOTr’s contract with Sumitomo will run for 43 months.
Sumitomo, the original maintenance provider for the MRT 3’s first 12 years, was issued the notice of award to maintain and rehabilitate the elevated railway to its original condition last Dec. 27.
The total of value of Sumitomo’s proposal was 36.92 billion yen or P17 billion.
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