Corporate News



BY KATHLEEN A. MARTIN, Reporter


MPIC expects Swiss challenge for road link by January




Posted on October 27, 2011


A METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) unit yesterday said the government is likely to call for counter offers against the conglomerate’s proposal to build a connector road project linking two Luzon expressways by early next year.

“Parties from the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) Center, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and our side are moving towards the Swiss challenge by January,” Ramoncito S. Fernandez, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., told reporters in a briefing, referring to the process in MPIC could bag the contract if it matches the highest counter offer.

The DPWH had accepted MPIC’s unsolicited proposal for the connector road project last year which is expected to connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the South Luzon Expressway.

“We are now in our last stages of negotiations with DPWH on the technical aspects and specifications of the connector road. After that, it will be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority,” Mr. Fernandez said.

The P17-billion connector road project is a 13.5 kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway that will connect the port area in Manila to Buendia Ave.

The port area will then be connected to NLEx via the so-called Harbour Link, which is also a project of MPIC slated to be constructed in early 2012.

Sought for comment, DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said his department is only waiting for the Transport department’s reply regarding right of way acquisition for the connector road before finalizing terms for the Swiss challenge.

This comes as connector road will be an elevated expressway utilizing the Philippine National Railway’s existing alignment as its route.

“As soon as we get [the Transport department to say] ‘no objection,’ then we can finalize the terms and conditions for the Swiss challenge,” Mr. Singson said.

MPIC, which is involved in water utilities, hospital management, power distribution and toll roads, posted a 38% profit hike in the first half to P2.658 billion.

MPIC shares closed 2.19% lower at P3.13 each yesterday, while Metro Pacific Tollways was unchanged at P8.60 apiece.

Metro Pacific Investments is the local unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., which partly owns the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.