Korean firm to build Puerto Princesa airport

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded a $82.9-million design-and-build contract for the Puerto Princesa airport to Korea's Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering & Construction Joint Venture (Kumho-GS), an official said Tuesday.

The eco-tourism showcase that is Puerto Princesa, as well as the rest of Palawan, will soon have a modern, world-class airport which we can be as proud of as the destination itself, said Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

"With beaches and other natural wonders attracting throngs of visitors from all over the globe, it will finally have a gateway that is befitting of its stature," he said.

In compliance with its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract, Kumho-GS will begin with the design component by the third quarter of this year. While the joint venture is preparing the airport’s detailed engineering design, it will likewise begin mobilizing its equipment and securing various project permits.

Civil works at the existing site, or the build component, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. The project scope includes the construction of a new passenger terminal building, cargo terminal building, apron, connecting taxiways, a new air navigation system, and other support facilities.

Kumho-GS will have around 30 months to complete the project, which means that the DOTC expects the modern airport to be operational by first quarter of 2017.

Once the project is completed, the airport will have an annual capacity of about two million passengers. In 2013, it counted 1.335 million passengers, which is way beyond its passenger terminal building’s (PTB) current estimated capacity of only 350,000 passengers per annum.

“Apart from boosting our tourism sector, this project will also generate jobs, particularly in the infrastructure sector. Overall, the estimate is up to 1,400 total new jobs during construction alone,” Abaya added.

The project is largely funded through a Korean Export Import Bank (KEXIM) loan, to the tune of $71.612 million. The loan is payable in 40 years, inclusive of a ten-and-a-half-year grace period, at a concessional interest rate of 0.1% per annum.

As a tied official development assistance (ODA) loan, the bidding process was governed by the Guidelines for Procurement of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), and decisions were concurred with by KEXIM. Bidding for the project was also limited to South Korean firms. (SDR/Sunnex)

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