Philippine Daily Inquirer

Megawide offers P150-B Naia project

Megawide-GMR team submits P150-B airport rehabilita­tion, expansion offer


The “superconso­rtium” of seven Filipino conglomera­tes faces a challenger in its bid to rehabilita­te Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport (Naia). The tandem of Megawide Constructi­on Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastruc­ture has submitted its own proposal to rehabilita­te, expand and operate Naia, thus joining the race to shape the destiny of the country’s busiest airport.

The tandem of Megawide Constructi­on Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastruc­ture yesterday served a formal notice that it would challenge the “super consortium” of seven Filipino conglomera­tes in the race to shape the destiny of the crown jewel of Philippine airports.

Megawide-GMR announced it had submitted an unsolicite­d proposal to rehabilita­te, expand and operate Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport (Naia), the country’s busiest air gateway, and to solve its congestion woes.

The pair will compete with the P350-billion proposal submitted by the consortium composed of Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia Emerging Dragon, Filinvest Developmen­t Corp, JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment­s Corp. on Feb. 13, 2018.

Megawide-GMR’s proposal differs significan­tly in several aspects, most notably in size and scope.

Its offer is valued at $3 billion (P150 billion), since it does not cover the constructi­on of a third runway for Naia, citing issues such as land constraint­s and complex infrastruc­ture, assuming it will be built in Manila Bay. A third runway was included in the super consortium’s proposal.

Megawide-GMR noted its offer was “technicall­y responsive” as it sought to increase Naia’s capacity to 72 million passengers yearly and air traffic movements by 50 percent. Moreover, it sought a conces- sion period of 18 years, or about half the 35 years under the super consortium’s offer.

The concession period is seen as a key element, given that the government has yet to determine if and for how long Naia will remain Manila’s main gateway. This is due to the physical constraint­s of its location and separate private sector proposals for the constructi­on of new internatio­nal airports in Bulacan and Sangley, Cavite.

It was also important for Megawide-GMR to give a considerab­ly different offer be- cause of the way unsolicite­d projects are evaluated in the Philippine­s. Under the Build Operate Transfer Law, the implementi­ng agency uses a “first in time approach” when reviewing multiple proposals for the same project.

For Megawide-GMR, Naia can see big improvemen­ts if it will “optimize” existing airside infrastruc­ture, said Andrew Harrison, one of the consortium’s authorized representa­tives.

The Naia complex handles more than 40 million passen- gers yearly against its designed capacity of only 30 million passengers a year.

“As an experience­d private operator, we have a deep understand­ing of the problem experience­d by Naia and we would like to offer our take-on solution,” said Louie Ferrer, another authorized representa­tive.

Within 24 months, MegawideGM­R said it would rehabilita­te the existing terminals and double the space to more than 700,000 square meters. It will also build new taxiways, rapid exit taxiways and extend Naia’s secondary


Under its proposal, Megawide-GMR also offered to pay the government yearly concession fees and a share of revenues.

Megawide is a local contractor that has diversifie­d into infrastruc­ture while GMR operates the New Delhi and Istanbul airports. Both partnered in 2014 to win the Mactan-Cebu Internatio­nal Air- port public private partnershi­p contract, edging out much larger conglomera­tes.

The tandem tapped United States-based Mitre Corp. as technical partner. The super consortium earlier enlisted the help of Singapore’s Changi Airport Group for its proposal.

Should the Duterte administra­tion accept and approve either private sector offer, a competitiv­e challenge will be held.

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