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DPWH awards NLEX-SLEX connector road project to MPIC’s tollways subsidiary

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Manila, Philippines — The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), said on Monday, September 19, that it secured a go signal from the Department of Public Works Department (DPWH) to develop an expressway worth P23-billion. The said expressway will link the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

MPIC said that its tollways unit and its subsidiary Manila North Tollways Corporation, the original unit for NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project, received the notice of award from the DPWH and it does not require fresh equity infusion from MPIC.

MPIC Group of companies managed to win the Swiss Challenge for the project back in July, after no company submitted comparative proposals to challenge the offer fo Manny V. Pangilinan-led company. Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp slashed its internal rate of return to the government for the said project to 10.87 percent from 12.09 percent, by cutting down the opening tariff from P100 to P87.

The Public Private Partnership Center has identified a total of seven companies that purchased bid documents for the Swiss Challenge of NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project, including San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC), Obrascon Huarte Lain SA, Hunan Road and Bridge Corp. and four other firms.

NLEX SLEX CONNECTOR ROAD

The NLEX-SLEX Connector Expressway project is an unsolicited proposal approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. BOT is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate as well as maintain a facility stated in the concession contract of the 8-kilometer elevated toll expressway over the right of way of Philippine National Railways.

The aforementioned project starts at the junction of NLEX Segment 10 at the C-3 Road/5th Avenue in Caloocan City and seamlessly connects to SLEX though the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation President and CEO Rodrigo Franco said that the first section of the project would begin in 2018.

“Right of way acquisition first before we start construction. The government has 30 months from signing of toll concession agreement to deliver right of way.” Franco said. “We are hoping though that the government can deliver the ROW in sections to enable us to start sectional construction before the 30-month deadline,” he added.

MPTC chief executive said that the firm would invest around P15.74 billion on the NLEX-SLEX project, while the Philippines government through DPWH would spend P7.46 billion for right of way acquisition. The DPWH will implement the connector road project, which has a total estimated value of around P23.2 billion and a concession period of 35 years.

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