Belle Corp., a property developer led by retail tycoon Henry Sy, joined a consortium that plans to build a new international airport, seaport, economic zone and mixed-used real estate development off the coast of Sangley Point in Cavite worth up to $50 billion.
Belle and Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. signed a shareholders’ agreement for the Philippine Global Gateway Project Saturday.
Belle, part of Henry Sy’s SM Group, will become an almost equal partner in the project, said Edmundo Lim, the venture’s vice chairman. China Communications Construction Co.’s dredging unit is set to be both an investor and technical partner.
“This project started in 2012 when ARRC was established by the shareholders with a vision to build a world-class airport facility that can accommodate passenger traffic well into the year 2050 and the first integrated sea port that is accessible to the inhabitants and business enterprises located in the Greater Manila area,” ARRC president Wilson Tieng said.
Tieng said the project would also provide efficient and transportation connectivity for private and public vehicles and rail system.
ARRC plans to reclaim 2,500 hectares at Sangley Point. The company expects to complete the reclamation in 12 months, according to Tieng.
Tieng said the new airport would be designed to have a capacity of 50 million passengers and be completed in five years.
“It has been submitted to Neda [National Economic and Development Authority] and during the Cabinet meeting it was verbally approved by President Duterte,” Tieng said.
Tieng said the project cost could reach $50 billion because it would involve airport, seaport, economic zone and real estate components.
“Probably we can say that we are looking at $50 billion for the whole project. It’s big, it involves airport, seaport and ecozone,” Tieng said.
Belle vice chairman and executive director Willy Ocier said the project was very timely considering the air and land traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
“This project will also provide the platform for increased economic activity.” he said.
Tieng’s ARCC would be competing with San Miguel Corp., which earlier proposed to build a new international airport at a reclaimed area along the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road for $10 billion.
Ang, after being told of Sy’s proposal, said in a text message it’s now going to be a “beauty contest.”
Solar, owned by the Tieng brothers, has investments in industries such as TV networks, real estate and consumer goods. San Miguel, the country’s largest food and drinks company, has expanded under Ang into non-allied industries, including tollroads and power.
In his “beauty contest” text message, Ang said that San Miguel has offered to build the new airport in Bulacan, north of Manila, in a revision from its 2014 proposal for a $10 billion airport on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.
Naia accommodated 36.68 million passengers in 2015, exceeding the 30 million yearly optimal capacity of the terminal. Its maximum handling capacity stands at 35 million passengers a year. With Bloomberg