By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
INFRACORP Development, Inc. is currently looking for an operations and maintenance (O&M) partner for its P3.5-billion Skytrain project, saying it is speaking with several firms from Austria, France, Japan and China.
“Some of the suppliers that have been offering their technology to us have offered to partner with us for the O&M as well, so we’re considering that option cause it also makes sense whoever supplies will be the one who operates it,” Infracorp President Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a press briefing after Megaworld Corp.’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Quezon City on June 15.
Mr. Tan said the company should be able to decide on the O&M partner by the fourth quarter of this year.
Infracorp has recently secured original proponent status for its proposed Skytrain project, a monorail linking Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s Guadalupe station to Megaworld’s Uptown Bonifacio township in Taguig City.
The railway is set to carry 350 passengers per five-minute trip, for a total of around 60,000 to 100,000 commuters per day.
The proposal is now with the National Economic and Development Authority’s board for review, which the company expects to be completed by next month.
SKYTRAIN TO CIRCUIT MAKATI?
Mr. Tan said the Ayala group has also formally approached them to extend Skytrain all the way to Makati City. This will allow the monorail to connect Guadalupe Station to Ayala Land, Inc.’s 21-hectare mixed-use estate called Circuit Makati.
“We have yet to really sit down on it, but they have actually already proposed to us and spoken to us about it. And I think they also have their own strategy or version of how to expand it, so we’ll see,” Mr. Tan explained.
The Infracorp chief noted that Skytrain can be further expanded toward the Taguig side, depending on how the group would “want to complement what the government is doing today.”
Asked what other projects the company is looking at, Mr. Tan said this will depend on the needed connectivity for its sister firm Megaworld’s townships.
“Our goal is to create much necessary connectivity and efficiency with our various townships and tourism estates so anything that can be connected and improve access is our priority. So that can be in the realm of rails and even roads,” Mr. Tan said.
Mr. Tan, who also sits as senior vice-president for Megaworld, said the property company is also looking to expand its network of pet clinics within the townships. Pet clinics have been among the trademark tenants in Megaworld’s malls.
“We’re working with several partners, we just actually opened a very large pet clinic in McKinley West, we call it Vets in Practice. So we’re trying to see how we can work with them, and see how we can work with them and roll out pet clinics all over our townships,” he explained.
Companies have recently been showing interest in pet care clinics, with Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. also venturing into the segment through a franchise agreement with Singaporean firm Pet Lovers Centre.
Infracorp and Megaworld are both part of tycoon Andrew L. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc. The conglomerate’s other core businesses include liquor, gaming, and quick serviced restaurants.
By Arra B. Francia, Reporter