French firm eyes other transpo projects in PH

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 10 2014 08:34 AM | Updated as of Dec 10 2014 04:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - RATP Dev, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paris-based RATP Group, is set to partner with the tandem of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and conglomerate Ayala Corp. for future mass transit system projects in the Philippines.

Francois-Xavier Perin, president of RATP Dev, said the French firm is looking at other transportation projects particularly under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme in the country after partnering with the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) for the P65 billion Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension project.

He pointed out that RATP Dev is set to bid for the P1.15-billion operation and maintenance of the LRT-2 together with LRMC as well as the proposed Cebu Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT).

“We are looking at other projects indeed. With the same partners we are bidding on the LRT-2 operation and maintenance. We have a huge experience in operating trams, light rail systems and even the BRTs,” he said.

The LRMC has tapped the RATP Group to provide expertise in the operations as well as equipment and infrastructure maintenance over a 20-year period of the largest PPP project awarded so far by the Aquino administration.

RATP will be the first international operator to provide this type of service in the Philippines.

The government through the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) as well as the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) signed the concession agreement for the PPP project last Oct. 2.

MPIC’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. controls 55 percent of the Light Rail Manila Consortium followed by Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. with 35 percent and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. with 10 percent.

Aside from RATP Group, LRMC has also forged partnerships with three leading French companies to deliver a world-class rail transit system. Both Bouygues Travaux Publics and Alstom Transport are well known for their impressive track records in constructing mass rail transit systems in France and other parts of the world.

For his part, RATP director for Asia Rene Thfoin said the company is looking at participating in the bidding for the LRT-2 operation and maintenance as a shareholder.

“Well there is regulation in which says as a foreign entity we can’t own more than 40 percent, so the game is to partner with the same partners but in a company which will operate the LRT2, in this case we will be a share holder of the company,” Thfoin said.

Thfoin said the company is also looking at joining the bidding for the P2.2 billion maintenance contract of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3).

He said the company is also set to bid for the proposed Cebu BRT.

RATP Dev was established in 2002 and now operates in 12 countries including the US, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Brazil, India, China, and South Korea. It is aiming at revenue close to €1 billion in 2014.

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