The government of the Philippines has award conglomerate San Miguel Holdings (SMHC) a $14bn public-private contract to develop an international airport to the north of Manila.
The Filipino conglomerate, which made an unsolicited bid to build Bulacan International Airport, was given the job of financing, designing and building the facility after no other bidder emerged during the "Swiss challenge" period that follows such an offer. It will operate it on a 50-year concession.
Giovanni Lopez, transportation assistant secretary, commented:Â "No one bought our bid documents. No one joined the bidding and no one submitted a comparative proposal to challenge original proponent, which means we have to award the project to San Miguel."
SMHC is negotiating the design and construction of the airport with French operator Groupe ADP, Australian consulting engineer Meinhardt Group and Jacobs Engineering of the US.
The airport, which will also be known as the New Manila International Airport, will be built about 50km northwest of the Philippine capital, and will become an alternative to the over-capacity Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
It will be developed on a 2,500ha site, with between four and six runways and a maximum capacity of about 100 million passengers, putting it in the first division of global airports.
Construction is expected to begin on the first two runways in the fourth quarter of 2019, with completion due by 2023.
Image: SMHC’s rendering of Bulacan International
This project in total will take much longer to construct and hence much more costly, although the estimated budget figure of $US14 is over exagerated. To appoint a contractor as the sole bidder is highly suspicious especially since it is public money which is being spent, although that may not be of any consequence at all to certain individuals within inner higher circles. Could be constructed for far less – I know as I have been involved with airport costruction overseas since 1998.
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