Metro Pacific unit secures $491m Filipino road PPP

The deal comes as the country’s PPP Centre gets a new executive director, replacing Andre Palacios after only three months.

A toll road business owned by Filipino conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation has secured a four-lane elevated expressway project in Manila from the Department of Public Works and Highways, according to the country’s PPP Centre. 

The government is set to award the PHP23.2 billion ($491 million; €447 million) North Luzon Expressway to South Luzon Expressway unsolicited project to Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation, after no other company submitted a rival proposal on Monday, the PPP Centre said. The project will be officially awarded this October, with contracts due to be signed the following month. 

The project, which is expected to help reduce congestion within Central Manila and around the Port Area, involves the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 8km connector road under a BOT scheme, with a concession period of 37 years. 

The announcement marks the first project awarded by the centre since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last month, following which a new leader took the reins of the country's PPP authority.

In June, Ferdinand Pecson replaced Andre Palacios, who served as the PPP Centre's head for only three months, as executive director. A source told Infrastructure Investor the PPP Centre is still waiting for Pecson to be officially appointed by the Duterte office, an event expected to happen later this week.   

Prior to joining the PPP Centre, Pecson held senior positions at FLSmidth, a Copenhagen-based engineering company, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was previously vice-president of Filipino building material company Holcim Philippines and a senior consultant at PHINMA Corporation, also in the Philippines. 

The Duterte administration is poised to review a number of infrastructure mega-projects, such as the PHP19 billion Davao Sasa Port modernisation scheme and a railway system linking two major international airports in Manila, in the coming months. 

Metro Pacific and San Miguel, the country's two largest conglomerates, recently teamed up to bid for the $10 billion Manila Bay International Airport project