2 Asian firms plan MCIA bid-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
MANILA -- Filipino companies will now have to compete with South Korean and Malaysian firms for the right to handle the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport project.
These prospective bidders include Samsung C&T Corp. and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), which inquired about the project’s terms.
Considering the size of the project, the bidders are likely to be consortiums of Filipino and foreign investors,” said MCIA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete.
“In as far as the facility operator is concerned, there is no one available in the Philippines. So, that should most probably be a foreign firm in partnership with a Filipino firm, considering there are constitutional restrictions in running public facilities,” Villarete said in a text message last night.
“Of course, it’s a competition, we want the most qualified and competent firms who can offer the best value for money for the government,” he added.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), in a bulletin last Feb. 1, said it will now allow airline companies to own up to 33 percent of the companies that will bid for the project. But they cannot have a direct hand in the airport’s operations.
A prequalification conference will be conducted on Feb. 13 at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong City to identify which companies are capable of carrying out the project on the 797-hectare property.
After this, submission of qualification documents is set on Feb. 27.
Seoul-based Samsung C&T is into engineering, investment and construction, with over 11,000 employees worldwide. The 22-year-old MAHB, meanwhile, manages Malaysia’s 39 airports while providing management services to airports in India and Turkey.
Samsung C&T asked about the P1-million non-refundable fee to be used for the purchase of bid documents and the co-purchase of bid documents along with local and international companies.
MAHB, meanwhile, inquired if it could meet the legal qualification a consortium member.
Transportation Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, chairman of the pre-qualification, bids and awards committee, said the co-purchase of bid documents will not bind the companies together.
The P1-million fee must be in cash or manager’s check issued by any bank in the Philippines, made out to the DOTC.
In the same 10-page document, the DOTC confirmed that airline companies and entities having any relationship with an airline firm may own a maximum of 33 percent of the shares in the winning bidder’s special purpose company that would be awarded the concession.
Parties with stakes in airlines were originally barred from taking part in the bidding, but the DOTC changed its mind last Friday after earning opposition from interested bidders like San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
SMC owns 49 percent of Philippines Airlines and JG Summit operates Cebu Pacific.
Macro Asia Corp., the aviation logistics firm of PAL Chairman Lucio Tan, also bought bid documents. So did the P10-billion joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., Prime Power Holdings Corp., and the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).
Chaired by Manuel Pangilinan, MPIC is reportedly talking with representatives from Gokongwei-led JG Summit for a possible joint venture, aside from its other option, which is to invite other airport operators in Asia and Europe.
The project is meant to handle the increasing air traffic demand, ensure convenience of an expected eight million passengers, and promote aircraft operational efficiency.
It will include building a new passenger terminal, installing equipment, and renovating and expanding the existing terminal. The winning concessionaire will also manage and maintain both terminals.
The project has two phases, worth P8.87 billion and P8.6 billion, respectively. The project, which has a concession period of 20 years, is expected to be completed by 2033. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2013.