Toll-road company identifies investments in Cebu, overseas

by Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Feb 06 2013 07:54 AM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 03:54 PM

MANILA - Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the privately held road operator of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), has finally identified potential investments in Cebu and overseas in line with efforts to diversify its portfolio, mainly comprised of North Luzon Expressway and its extension projects. Briefing materials provided to reporters showed that MPTC is eyeing road projects in Vietnam, Indonesia and a new bridge in Cebu.

In Indonesia MPTC is looking to invest in the Becakayu toll road project, which is planned as a 21-kilometer (km) elevated highway connecting the capital city of Jakarta to the eastern part of Bekasi City.

MPTC said it has discussed the project with Indonesia’s Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada for a possible partnership. The road project will have a concession period of 45 years.

MPTC said the Vietnam project, the Dau Giay Phan Thiet expressway project, will be the first Public-Private Partnership Program in that country. The materials showed that the project will run 98.7 km and will have four lanes for the first phase and six lanes through the rest of the expressway.

MPTC said Vietnam’s Bitexco Group, which is involved in infrastructure, real estate, mining and manufacturing, was chosen as principal investor and the selection of a second investor will be done under international competitive bidding.

No investment figures were provided for both overseas projects.

In Cebu MPTC is looking at the Cebu toll bridge project, which will be a third link between the main island and Mactan.

The company is said to be currently studying two options: the 5-km General Maxilom-Lapu-Lapu project, estimated to cost P17 billion to P26 billion, and the Cebu South Road-Lapu-Lapu project, which runs 7.5 km and is estimated to cost P17 billion to P19 billion.

Ramoncito Fernandez, president of MPTC, said plans to invest overseas are in line with broader goals of MPIC’s parent firm, Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., to widen its presence outside the Philippines.

He said it was not immediately certain whether First Pacific will directly invest alongside MPTC for the new projects. First Pacific is owned by the Salim family of Indonesia and is run by Filipino businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.