MPTC seeks loan to finance CALAX, Cebu bridge projects

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MPTC seeks loan to finance CALAX, Cebu bridge projects

METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) — the toll operator arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) — is pushing through with its plan to borrow around PHP30 billion (US$620 million) from banks by the first quarter of next year to fund the construction of its two projects — the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) and Cebu-Cordova toll bridge.

It is expected that MPTC starts talking to the banks by the end of the year and sends out formal invitations in early 2017.

Although the firm has yet to see the final cost for the projects, MPTC is looking to raise around PHP30 billion — PHP15 billion each for the CALAX and Cebu-Cordova projects.

MPTC’s unit MPCALA Holdings, Inc., which won the bid for the CALAX public-private partnership project, is looking to break ground by the first quarter of 2017. Right of way issues for the project site have hampered the start of construction.

The notice of award include the 35-year contract to build, operate, and maintain the planned expressway, which involves the construction of a 44.6-kilometer four-lane toll road between the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx)-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. It is expected to ease traffic congestion south of the capital.

The company also secured local government approval for the PHP27.9-billion (US$577 million) Cebu-Cordova project, which will link Cebu South Coastal Road and Mactan Island, earlier this year. 

Construction of the Cebu-Cordova toll bridge is “expected middle of next year” or by end of second quarter to early third quarter. The project cost is expected to be a bit lower as the ramp component of the project was deferred. The construction will start by 2018 and completion by 2020.

MPTC tapped Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) for the detailed engineering design.

MPTC President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo E. Franco said:

“We’ve started talking but not the formal fund raising process… maybe for the projects in Cebu the CALAX that will be undergoing fund-raising soon. This fourth quarter, we’ll start talking to the banks and then early next year hopefully, we’ll send out the formal invitation to the banks,” 

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