MPT South finalizing details of expressway deal with SMC

MPT South finalizing details of expressway deal with SMC

MPT South Corp. is finalizing details of its partnership with San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to develop P72-billion expressway projects, the top executive of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) unit said.

“It’s something that I have to get direction from senior management. What the intention is to really have something by next year, so that is something that we have to finalize with our principal together with San Miguel,” Raul L. Ignacio, president and general manager of MPT South, told reporters last week.

In August, MPTC signed a memorandum of agreement with SMC to build and operate the Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEX) and Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway (NBEX) projects with a combined value of P72 billion.

Under the partnership, the two parties will be developing an almost 80-kilometer toll road that will connect MPTC’s Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) to Bauan, Batangas.

In 2018, MPTC was granted the original proponent status for the 50.4-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) project by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), some segments of which overlapped with SMC’s unsolicited proposal for CBEX and NBEX, which were approved by the Cavite and Batangas governments.

The two companies are anticipated to break ground on the project in 2024, with CBEX and NBEX expected to be finished and operational by 2027.

Mr. Ignacio said the company’s CTBEX proposal is still live as it has not given up its original proponent status, but due to the signing with SMC, “the project’s way forward is still being discussed.”

“We just have to finalize the plans on CBEX in order to determine and to make a final decision on CTBEX,” he added.

The project’s way forward is still being studied, Mr. Ignacio said, adding that they are still determining alignments and designs for the projects.

In November, Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of MPTC said the company plans to form a joint venture company with SMC to build expressways, which he said will be a significant firm and may be a candidate to list at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

While there are no firm details as to the extent of the two parties’ partnership yet, Mr. Ignacio said, future partnerships on existing proposals are also on the table.

“That is something that we are waiting [for] from the top as to what will be the direction,” he said.

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

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