Ayala allots P14B for PPP projects

by Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jul 07 2014 07:43 AM | Updated as of Jul 07 2014 03:43 PM

MANILA - The infrastructure arm of Ayala Corp. is in talks with various banks to finance its portfolio of public-private partnership (PPP) projects over the next five years.

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. Executive Vice President Noel Eli B. Kintanar said his firm has allotted some P14 billion until 2019 to bankroll its key infrastructure projects, which mainly involve transportation-development deals it bagged over the past years.

He noted that the infrastructure deals are expected to be a major revenue stream for the group, further enhancing the financial health of the businesses of the Ayala family.

Ayala has always been supportive of the government’s drive to improve the infrastructure in the country, partnering with various firms to bid for PPP deals by various agencies.

It won in 2011 the P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Project, the first key infrastructure deal that the government successfully awarded.

Ayala also bagged the P1.72-billion contactless Automatic Fare Collection System with its partner Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) which is controlled by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Kintanar said the group is waiting the awarding of the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension deal, which should be awarded this week. The MPIC-Ayala tandem is the lone bidder for the said contract, which underwent several sweetening before finally being auctioned.

Its joint venture with Aboitiz Land Inc. also emerged as the top bidder during the auction for the P35.2-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project. Awarding of the deal was indefinitely suspended, however, pending a Malacañang review of a petition filed by rival San Miguel Corp.

But despite its current portfolio of projects amounting to roughly P127 billion—including premium payments—Kintanar
said the group is still keen on making further investments.

He said the Ayala Group is interested in bidding for the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike deal of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“We are looking at investing more in toll roads, rails, airports and other transportation-related projects,” Kintanar said. “We’ll definitely take a look at all the projects that enhance this current portfolio.”

The country is lagging behind its neighbors in terms of public infrastructures, which are seen as key contributors to continued economic growth.

There are more than 50 projects in the PPP pipeline, but the government only aims to sign at least 15 contracts before President Aquino steps down from office in 2016.