Tycoons facing make or break in Sangley airport bid
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla remains keen on developing an international airport in Sangley Point alongside private sector partners, saying the evaluation of a new proposal will be completed “within a month.”
Last November, business groups led by taipan Lucio Tan, the Yuchengco family, and Luis Virata submitted an unsolicited bid to turn Sangley into a global gateway that would rival and eventually replace Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“We are pursuing the airport project,” Remulla told the Inquirer over the weekend.
Calling themselves the SPIA Development Consortium, the business tycoons partnered with South Korean firm Samsung C&T Corp. and Munich Airport International GmbH, the management services arm of Munich Airport.
In a previous statement, the Cavite government said the proposed venture with the consortium would include the development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Sangley airport project.
This would allow the gateway to “provide an alternative to, and ease the congestion at, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as boost economic growth and enhance the local tourism and aviation industries.”
The incumbent Cavite government previously attempted to develop the project with a joint venture partner but the plan fell through.
Last Jan. 26, Remulla canceled the Feb. 12, 2020 award to the venture of state-run China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (CCCC) and Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. after the companies failed to comply with the Cavite government’s requirements.
Last Oct. 20, it declared another failed bidding after no offers appeared by the deadline.
The Inquirer previously reported the initial venture was weighed down by national security and economic concerns as critics feared it would turn into a debt trap where China gains strategic concessions from borrowers that defaulted on their loans.
Details on the new proposal were not immediately available. However, a source with knowledge of the matter said their initial development phase was “slimmed down to a more modest budget.”
Previously, Phase 1 of the project was estimated at P208.5 billion while the total project cost was over P500 billion.
Project documents showed that Phase 1 involves the first runway and a passenger capacity of 25 million passengers per year. The entire plan will see the airport expand to four runways and with a passenger capacity of 130 million annually, serving demand up to 2050. INQ
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