Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is forming a “very strong” consortium to bid for the P171-billion south rail project, after partner Ayala Corp. teamed up with Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.
“Ayala partners with the Aboitiz for NSRP and we are not part of that partnership. So, Metro Pacific is forming its consortium for NSRP,” MPIC vice president for business development Karim Garcia told reporters Friday, referring to the North-South Rail Project.
“MPIC and Ayala have an agreement to partner for light rail project, but this is heavy rail. Because this is heavy rail, we are allowed to partner with the others,” he said.
Ayala and MPIC jointly signed a memorandum of agreement in 2012 to form an exclusive partnership to pursue and develop rail projects, where each parties will own a 50 interest in the projects and related real estate development undertakings.
The two conglomerates are partners in the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 extension to Cavite and the Automatic Fare Collection System project.
Ayala and MPIC are also jointly pursuing to bid for the LRT Line 2 and LRT Line 6 under the government’s public-private partnership program.
Garcia said Ayala decided to team up with Aboitiz, while MPIC would be forming a “very, very formidable consortium.”
“It’s a very strong, deep pocketed consortium,” Garcia said.
He said MPIC would sign a bid development agreement with three potential local partners and two foreign partners this week.
The new company would be named Metro Heavy Rail Alliance Consortium, wherein MPIC will own 35 percent of the company.
Garcia also said MPIC sent a letter to the pre qualification, bids and awards committee of the Transportation Department to extend the deadline for bid submission to middle of May from April 15.
“The timeframe allotted by the Transport Department is very tight. We’ve asked for an extension to somewhere around Middle of May,” Garcia said.
The PPP Center earlier identified the interested companies as Ayala Infrastructure Holdings Corp., MPIC, San Miguel Holdings Corp., IL&FS Transport Networks Ltd. of India and US-based Fluor Daniels Pacific Inc. for NSRP.
The project will revive the oldest rail system in Southeast Asia, beginning with the Manila-Legazpi section plus additional branch lines spanning 653 kilometers.
The winning bidder will operate, maintain and upgrade the south line for 34 years, including the construction period of four years.