Philippines province cancels $10bn airport deal with China Communications

A consortium led by state-owned giant China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has lost the right to develop a $10bn airport project in the Philippines.

CCCC and Philippine company MacroAsia had been picked for the mega project to expand Sangley Point International Airport in Cavite province in February last year.

But yesterday Cavite governor Juanito Victor "Jonvic" Remulla announced that the award had been withdrawn owing to "the various deficiencies of the submission of requirements to conclude the Joint Venture Agreement". 

"While it does cancel the negotiations, the project shall restart and hopefully have a progressive negotiation with a more qualified partner by October 2021," he said.

Remulla told Nikkei Asian Review: "We gave them two extensions, but they failed to comply with three requirements, a lot of them documentary."

MacroAsia, a Philippine airline service company that was part of the CCCC consortium, told the Philippine Stock Exchange of the withdrawal this morning. 

The award became controversial last year after the US sanctioned CCCC, among other Chinese companies, for its work in creating artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

This prompted a statement in August from Teodoro Locsin, the Philippines’ foreign minister, saying that he would "strongly recommend" that his government terminate contracts with the sanctioned Chinese construction companies.

But this was followed shortly after by a statement from President Rodrigo Duterte that his government would "ignore" US sanctions (see further reading).

The Sangley Point International Airport, to be built on reclaimed land in Manila Bay, will eventually become one of the largest in the Asia Pacific, with a capacity of 100 million passengers.

Image: A rendering of the Sangley Point airport, to be built on reclaimed land in Manila Bay (Sangley Airport)

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