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SMC confirms tie-up with MPIC on Clark airport terminal

MANILA, Philippines - Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. confirmed yesterday talks with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) to jointly build a multi-billion peso passenger terminal at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Pampanga.

“We confirm that the company is in talks with Metro Pacific with respect to the construction of a modern terminal building at the DMIA in the Clark Free Port, Angeles City, Pampanga,” San Miguel corporate information officer Ferdinand K. Constantino told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Clark airport officials earlier said the MPIC-San Miguel consortium intends to transform the DMIA into a world-class passenger terminal featuring a high-speed commuter rail system connecting DMIA and Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. The project, estimated to cost around $150 million, will be able to accommodate up to 10 million passengers a year when completed. 

The current terminal at DMIA can accommodate only up to two million passengers annually.

The railways are to be built between the lanes of the North Luzon Expressway, owned by MPIC’s tollways unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., through Manila North Tollways Corp.

Clark airport officials said the project will be a 50-50 joint venture between two of the country’s biggest corporations.

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Early last month, MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said he was open to partnering with San Miguel to develop the DMIA as the next major gateway in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Clark civil aviation complex covers 2,367 hectares within the 4,400-hectare Clark Freeport Zone.

The DMIA terminal will be San Miguel’s second airport project following its purchase of a majority stake in a company developing the Caticlan airport, the nearest air gateway to popular tourist destination Boracay Island.

Malaysian firm Bristeel Overseas Ventures Inc. (BOV) has reportedly appealed to the new government to reconsider its offer to construct the proposed Terminal 2, saying it has extensive experience in multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, including airports and railways in different countries around the world.

BOV’s consortium members include Malaysia Resources Corp. Bhd (MRCB) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

MRCB is one of the largest property development and investment companies in Malaysia, with residential, tourism, commercial, industrial and multi-modal transportation hubs and projects worldwide.

On the other hand, MAHB is a wholly owned government firm mandated to develop, operate and manage all airport facilities in Malaysia including the newly built $3.5-billion Kuala Lumpur International Airport in a sprawling 10,000-hectare complex in Sepang district. It has developed more than 70 domestic and international airports in Malaysia and other countries.       

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