Infracorp expects go-signal for monorail by end-March

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InfraCorp. Development, Inc. is proposing to build a two-kilometer monorail connecting Fort Bonifacio to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).  -- ALLIANCE GLOBAL GROUP

INFRACORP Development, Inc. expects to secure original proponent status for its P3.8-billion monorail project connecting the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Guadalupe Station to Fort Bonifacio by the end of March. 

“We are about to get the original proponent status within the first quarter. We have submitted the necessary documents already from the government,” Infracorp President Andrew Kevin L. Tan told reporters after a press event in Mandurriao, Iloilo on Monday.

The infrastructure unit of tycoon Andrew L. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) submitted an unsolicited proposal for the monorail project in October 2017. Called the Skytrain, the project is expected to facilitate the transport of around 60,000 to 100,000 passengers daily.

Infracorp said the monorail will cut travel time to only five minutes from the Fort to Guadalupe station, and vice versa.

Once the government gives original proponent status to Infracorp, other firms can submit competing offers through a Swiss challenge. As original proponent, Infracorp will be given the right to match these offers.

Should Infracorp win the contract for the monorail, Mr. Tan said it would take two to three years to complete it.

“We’re set to do that by the end of the year, we’re ready to go. We have the right technology partners and technical partners already. It’s quite a simple proposal, so the government is inclined to give it to us because we can do it in two to three years,” Mr. Tan said. 

Asked whether the company has plans to extend the Skytrain to the Makati central business district as proposed by the Ayala group, Mr. Tan noted formal talks have yet to start.

“They have approached us, but there are no formal talks with them…we haven’t assessed the value to us yet,” Mr. Tan said.

The AGI group is also ironing out negotiations with the Ayala group to facilitate transport in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) district through its Citylink buses that traverse the Uptown Bonifacio and McKinley Hill route.

“We have been in talks with them to grant us access to BGC and to Ayala Avenue… We hope that we will be able to finalize Citylink buses being granted access to BGC and through Ayala Avenue,” Mr. Tan said.

Asked if the company is keen on more infrastructure projects in the future, the Infracorp executive noted they have joined the so-called super consortium that is interested in the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We have a few infra projects in the works… We will start to do one by one these projects. We’re very optimistic given the government’s trust now to more of unsolicited proposals. That will be the fastest way to get these projects off the ground,” Mr. Tan said. 

Aside from Infracorp, AGI also has core businesses in property through Megaworld Corp., gaming through Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., liquor through Emperador, Inc., and quick service restaurant through Golden Arches Development Corp. — Arra B. Francia