MNTC to raise P10-B in 2014 to fund projects

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 25 2013 07:49 AM | Updated as of Mar 25 2013 05:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), a unit of toll road giant Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), is set to borrow P10 billion next year to bankroll major projects particularly in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

MPTC chief financial officer Christopher Lizo said in an interview with reporters that MNTC needs to raise funds next year amounting to P10 billion in time for the start of construction of roads connecting to the NLEX.

Lizo pointed out that the company is looking at bank loans, issuance of corporate bonds or notes, among others to be able to raise funds.

“It is too soon to say. Bank loans, bonds or notes are being considered for 2014,” he stressed.

According to him, MNTC has no planned fund raising activity this year.

Earlier, MNTC president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said the company needs to raise between P16 billion-P17 billion from the domestic debt market over the next four years to bankroll ongoing road projects connecting to NLEX.

MNTC has started the P1.7 billion road link between NLEX and Valenzuela as well as the eight-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link project worth P8 billion that would connect the NLEX main to the Manila North Road (MacArthur Highway) in Valenzuela City and eventually to the C-3 Road.

The project involves the construction of an elevated highway over the existing rail right-of-way of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

The third segment involving the NLEX and C-5 Road link would cost around P10 billion and would be started by the middle of next year. The project would dramatically decongest traffic along Commonwealth Ave. and Quezon Ave.

The NLEX C-5 Link and the Harbor Link projects comprise Phase 2 of MNTC’s Manila North Expressway concession.

When completed, Phase 2 would provide an east-west expressway alignment traversing heavily-congested areas of northern Metro Manila and would dramatically reduce travel time within the expressway corridor.

Franco said MNTC is looking at completing the P10 billion Harbor Link project in time for the country’s hosting of the 23rd Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015.

The P1.7 billion segment 9 involving a 2.4-kilometer stretch from Valenzuela City to MacArthur highway is expected to be completed in 12 months while the P8 billion segment 10 covering 5.65 kilometers from MacArthur highway all the way to circumferential road 3 (C3) in Port Area would be completed within 24 months.

The Philippines is expected to host the APEC Summit in November 2015 after China in 2014. The country last hosted the APEC Summit in November of 1996.

MNTC operates the 84-kilometer NLEX and was recently awarded by the state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) the right to operate and maintain the 94-kilometer Subic Clark Tarlac expressway for 33 years.