The SPIA development consortium led by Virata and Yuchengco is poised to win the contract to build and operate the $11 billion Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) project next month after successfully overcoming the Cavite government’s competitive challenge.
According to a document sent to the Inquirer, Leonides Virata was invited by SPIA Development Consortium member Cavitex Holdings Inc. by the local government to attend the awards and signing ceremony of the long-awaited airport project, tentatively scheduled for April 14. is planned for September.
This comes after the Cavite government’s public-private partnership (PPP) selection committee completed the 60-day competition or Swiss challenge for the project on August 17. The consortium faced no other competitors during the process, leading to it finally bagging the project contract. Joining the SPIA consortium on the project are Munich Airport International Airport GmbH, Europe’s only five-star airport, and Samsung C&T Corp., the company that built Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport and the Changi Airport Extension.
In January, the local government accepted the bid by the Virata and Yuchengco-led SPIA Development Consortium to build the $11 billion international airport and gave it Original Proponent (OPS) status for the project.
A Swiss challenge is conducted to invite other proposals with better terms than the OPS offer. The OPS is then allowed to match counter-offers during the process; If no better offer is submitted, the OPS secures the contract.
“It has been officially declared that no challengers or potential bidders have registered and purchased the bid materials after the specified deadline to meet the above bid requirements,” PPP Selection Committee Chairman Renato Abutan said in the document obtained by the Inquirer .
Their proposal aims to initially provide an airport with an annual capacity of 25 million passengers. There are also plans to create a second runway to increase capacity to 75 million passengers per year.
The consortium made its bid in November last year, after the Cavite government canceled the contract it had awarded to the state-owned China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. company in January 2021. and MacroAsia Corp. awarded because they had not met the requirements.
Previously, in October last year, the local government declared a tender to have failed because no bids were submitted by the deadline.
The Sangley airport project is believed to be crucial in relieving congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main gateway.
Tycoon Ramon Ang pursues via conglomerate San Miguel Corp. same goal with building its $14 billion airport city in Bulacan province.
The Virata-Yuchengco consortium envisions SPIA as a “fully modernized, world-class, green airport designed to expand as demand for air services increases over the next 30 to 40 years and Naia operations eventually is set to allow for a sanitation of the site and its surroundings.”
On the sidelines of an event in Pasay last week, Eduardo Luis Luy. MacroAsia’s president and chief operating officer told reporters that not having a challenger was a “good sign” for the company, adding that “at least that hurdle has been cleared.”
MacroAsia remains involved with the project as it will provide operations and management services.
When asked if MacroAsia is willing to build a hangar in SPIA, Luy said it is still being discussed. Its joint venture unit, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, has just inaugurated a 9,000-square-foot facility in Pasay, increasing its base maintenance lines to 10.
Luy is also optimistic about the prospects for the aviation sector in the second half of the year given the return of air travel.
“If everything goes according to plan we can see the trip being picked up. Hopefully, as other countries open up soon, we can expand our activities,” he added. INQ
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