P2.5-billion PPP project set for signing

by Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 17 2013 09:57 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2013 05:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysia’s Alloy-MTD Group (MTD) expects to seal next week agreements for a P2.5-billion provincial local government unit (LGU) complex south of the Philippine capital and the first of as much as $300 million (P12.2 billion) worth of hydropower projects in Northern Luzon, a company executive said.

Isaac David, president of MTD Philippines, told the BusinessMirror in an interview that the Malaysian conglomerate is stepping up efforts to reinvest in the country’s underdeveloped infrastructure sector; MTD and partner Samsung of South Korea are among four groups qualified to bid for the $1.4-billion contract to expand the Light Rail Transit Line 1.

MTD earned a windfall last year from the sale of its stake in South Luzon Expressway to San Miguel Corp. and Indonesia’s Citra Group.

“We think investments in the Philippines are safe with the current administration and with President [Aquino’s] call for public-private partnership [PPP},” David said.

He said MTD Philippines is signing the joint-venture agreement on January 23 with the government to start developing a 3-hectare property in Calamba, Laguna, into a “one-stop” LGU hub inspired by Malaysia’s Putrajaya, the federal administrative center of the country located south of Kuala Lumpur.

MTD earlier submitted an unsolicited bid and last year edged out five other players in the mandatory competitive challenge, Isaac said. The contract was awarded to MTD last month.

The property will be used to consolidate 54 national offices in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal
and Quezon) into four buildings with a total footprint of 74,000 square meters and capable of holding 4,000 employees, he said. The project, which will be opened in phases over two years, will be turned over to the government after 30 years, David said.

“It’s a breakthrough PPP and given the opportunity we will do this in other regions as well including the forthcoming Bangsamoro,” David added. He said MTD has already made a proposal to the Butuan government, which serves as the regional center of the northeast portion of Mindanao.

He said the company is also positioning itself in the power sector is set to sign also next week the first of at least 10 run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants in Isabela province.

The first project involves 19 megawatts to be completed in two years although the plan is to bring this up to 90 MW through 2018 with an estimated cost of $300 million, David said.