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Business

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. raising P7 billion to fund NLEX project

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MANILA, Philippines - Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is raising about P7 billion through a combination of debt and equity to finance the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Segment 10 linking McArthur Highway in Valenzuela to Port Area in Manila.

On the other hand, the funding requirements of Segment 9, which will connect McArthur Highway to NLEX, amounting to around P1.2 billion, will be financed internally, MPTC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in an interview.

Another upcoming project of MPTC is Segment 11, an elevated road project to connect the North Harbor area to Buendia in Makati.

The three projects make up the second phase or expansion of NLEX. Phase 2 consists of four road projects: the just-opened P2.1-billion Segment 8.1 or the NLEX-Mindanao Avenue Link, a 2.7-kilometer expressway that connects NLEX at its Valenzuela junction to Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City providing motorists with additional entry and exit ramps to the NLEX; Segment 8.2 which will link Min-danao Avenue to Katipunan Avenue and to C5; Segment 9, 10, and 11.

Segment 9 aims to ease access to McArthur Highway, the old route to Central and Northern Luzon, while Segment 10 will dramatically speed up the transport of goods to and from Manila’s North Harbor.

Pangilinan, who also chairs MPTC parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), said Segment 9 already has a detailed plan, with construction set to start next year.

Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) president Rodrigo Franco earlier said work on Segment 9 has already started with the ongoing construction of the NLEX cloverleaf interchange in Valenzuela that, once completed, will also ease traffic to and from Segment 8.1.

“With all the major works on the NLEX-Mindanao Avenue Link completed, and completed ahead of schedule, we are now looking forward to the construction of the three remaining segments of NLEX Phase 2 that will start either late this year or early next year,” Franco revealed.

The distinctive feature of this segment is a full cloverleaf interchange, three times larger in area than the Balintawak Cloverleaf, and designed to allow motorists to enter or leave the main tollway from whatever direction without making a full stop.

“For Segment 10, about 40 percent of detailed design is already completed. Once it is done, we will consider fund-raising next year,” Pangilinan said.

He added that aside from Segment 10, whose funding has not yet been secured, another big-ticket project is also in the pipeline.

 “The big thing is the P17-billion [tollway] project from North Harbor to Buendia,” he said.

Pangilinan said the total cost for road projects connecting NLEX to Buendia will be between P24 billion to P25 billion, of which around P7 billion will be for Segments 9 and 10 and P17 billion for the NLEX-SLEX connector road project.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) earlier accepted the unsolicited proposal submitted by Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPTC, for the P17-billion connector road project, which involves the construction of a 13.2-kilometer elevated road linking the NLEX to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

The road will run along the Philippine National Railway (PNR) tracks within the Manila Central Business District, from the end of NLEX at C3 to the beginning of Skyway 1 at Buendia and is projected to start in 2012 after Segments 9 and 10 are completed.

Pangilinan earlier pointed out that the connector road project will provide the efficient transport of people and goods through congested urban areas and reduce travel time between NLEX and SLEX to 20 minutes.

Around 80 percent of the connector road will be built over existing rail tracks.

MPTC holds a 67.1-percent interest in MNTC, which, in turn, holds the concession to operate and maintain NLEX. It also owns 46 percent of Tollways Management Corp. (TMC), the company operating NLEX for MNTC.

BALINTAWAK CLOVERLEAF

BILLION

BUENDIA

CENTRAL AND NORTHERN LUZON

MINDANAO AVENUE LINK

NLEX

NORTH HARBOR

PANGILINAN

ROAD

SEGMENT

VALENZUELA

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