Thursday, January 12, 2012

News Update San Miguel, Citra in aggressive pursuit of road projects

San Miguel Corp. and the Citra Group of Indonesia are “aggressively pursuing” four major south of Metro Manila road projects estimated to cost P64.5 billion, according to a statement from Citra. The projects come after SMC and Citra acquired MTD Bahrain, parent company of the South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC) and Manila Toll Expressway Systems (MATES). In separate statements, SMC and Citra said their joint venture Arum Atlantic. Inc. (AAI) indirectly gained 80 percent control of SLTC and 60 percent of MATES. SMC and Citra did not indicate how much it cost them to take over MTD Bahrain and gain control of SLTC and MATES. “We are deeply honored to have been accepted by MTD Group of Malaysia to own SLEX. This brings us closer to consolidating the southern backbone road network, which offers a unique opportunity for San Miguel and our Citra partner to participate in various mature, developing and greenfield toll road opportunities within and outside Metro Manila,” said San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang. Roads linked to SLEX “The project that AAI would like to immediately pursue is the 56-km Laguna to Lucena (TR4), which is under the concession of SLTC,” Citra said in its statement. “AAI is also keen to participate in the 14-km. elevated 6-lane, Citra-PNCC Alignment (CPA) or Stage 3 that will link its existing Buendia Skyway to Balintawak and the 31-km Metro Manila Expressway or Stage 4 that will again link the Skyway and the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) in Taguig to Batasan in Quezon City,” Citra added. Both projects connect to the Skyway and are existing concessions between the Citra Group in partnership with PNCC. “AAI was also invited and is now in discussion with the concession holder of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), which plans to repave, widen and expand its 42-km toll road from Sto. Tomas to Batangas City,” Citra also said. The SMC-Citra joint venture is also eyeing expansion opportunities within Calabarzon and down to the Bicol Region. “We are aggressively pursuing these major infrastructure projects in order to decongest traffic in Metro Manila, improve motorist experience, and help the government pump-prime the economy in our own little way,” Ang was also quoted as saying. Current SMC infra projects SMC runs Phase 1 of the P19 billion, 88.5 kilometer two-lane Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway. This tollway project started in April 2010 and is expected to be finished in two-and-a-half years. The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7), which will run 22-kilometers from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan and end in North Avenue in Quezon City, is another SMC infrastructure project. TransAire Development Holdings Corporation, the concession holder of the Caticlan Airport — the gateway to Boracay — is also of SMC’s. “Long-term expansion projects involve the construction of a bigger airport passenger terminal, extension of the existing runway from 950 meters to 2,100 meters, improvement of the road network and upgrading of airport facilities and air traffic control aids,” SMC said on its website. — Earl Victor Rosero/VS,