Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) subsidiary MPCALA Holdings, Inc. is poised to bag the P35.4-billion contract to build, operate and maintain the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) after it submitted an offer higher than that of San Miguel’s Optimal Infrastructure Development.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) chairman Rafael C. Yabut, they did not expect a bid amount as high as that of MPCALA Holdings, Inc. since their floor price was only P20.1 billion.
The MPIC unit offered a premium of P27.3 billion on top of project cost, which was nearly 23% more than the P22.2-billion bid of San Miguel’s Optimal Infrastructure Development, Inc. The DPWH had set a P20.1-billion floor premium for this tender.
In 2014, President Benigno S.C. Aquino III ordered a new auction after San Miguel, whose subsidiary was disqualified on technical grounds concerning its bid security, appealed to Malacañang.
The DPWH plans to issue the notice of award on June 4.
From June 5 to 23, the winning bidder must comply with all the requirements of the notice of award. This will be followed by contract signing on July 28.
The detailed engineering design will be prepared from July 2015 to 2016, while construction will be from July 2016 to July 2020. The operation and maintenance period will be from July 2020 to July 2050.
According to Mr. Yabut, the winning bidder will have to pay 20% of the premium upon signing the contract, while the balance will be paid over 10 years.
In a statement, MPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Ma. K. Lim said: “As for the 20%, that’s internal so we don’t have to borrow. We have the funding in place.”
“But as we move forward, we will see exactly the ratio of the borrowing. There will be some bank funding,” he added.
A report by Bloomberg said the MPIC could borrow P20 billion after it receives the award.
Mr. Lim said his group based the premium on assessment of population growth in Cavite and Laguna, projected traffic and cost estimates for steel and petroleum components.
The CALAX project involves a 35-year contract to finance, build and operate a 47-kilometer four-lane toll road between Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite and the South Luzon Expressway-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
“We’re very, very happy with this development. We’ve always wanted to have a major toll road in the south,” said Mr. Lim.