Metro Pacific borrowing P18-billion to fund Calax road

By Darwin Amojelar

MPCala Holdings Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., said it expects to raise P18 billion through loans from banks to party finance the construction of the Cavite Laguna Expressway Project. 

“We’re hoping June or July to close P18 billion loans from local banks,” MPTC president and chief executive Rodrigo Franco said over the weekend. 

MPCala earlier tapped Leighton Holdings of Australia to build the Cavite side and local contractor DMCI Consunji Inc. to construct the Laguna side.

Calax, one of the largest public-private partnership projects, involves the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a four-lane, 47-kilometer closed-system toll expressway connecting Cavitex (Manila–Cavite Expressway) and South Luzon Expressway.

The P34.5-billion expressway will start from Cavitex in Kawit, Cavite and end at the SLEx-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2020, while operations and maintenance are set from 2020 to 2050.

MPCala also submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Public Works and Highways to build the P22.43-billion Cavite-Batangas Expressway. 

MPCala said in May it expected to obtain the original proponent status for the Cavite-Batangas Expressway this month.

“As far as we are concerned, we already completed the required documents that they needed. It’s really up to the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] to review and issue the original proponent status. Our expectation is by this month,’ MPCala Holdings president and chief executive Luigi Bautista told reporters earlier.

“After OPS, we have to submit it to Neda [National Economic and Development Authority] for review. If Neda approves it, there will be negotiations. After negotiations, the only time they will offer to Swiss Challenge,” he said.

CTBex is a 49-kilometer expressway that will connect Cavite and Batangas, with a spur road to Tagaytay City and ultimately terminating in Nasugbu, with another spur road to Tuy, Batangas.

The CTBex project is expected to start construction by the first quarter of 2019 and targeted to be completed by the first half of 2022.

Once completed, the project would cut travel time from Sta. Rosa, Laguna to Nasugbu, Batangas from 2.5 hours to just an hour.

The project will start at Silang East Interchange of Cavite-Laguna Expressway. The alignment will traverse the towns of Silang, Amadeo, Mendez, and Alfonso in Cavite, Tagaytay City and Nasugbu in Batangas.

MPTC is constructing the P27.9-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project. The 8.25-km bridge project, set to be completed by 2020, will connect Cebu City to Mactan Island via Cordova.

The group is also building the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road, an elevated expressway to connect the northern and southern toll road systems at a cost of P23 billion.