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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bulacan airport construction goes full blast to meet target

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Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said over the weekend the P740-billion New Manila International Airport project in Bulacan is on track for completion.

“The airport [construction] is in full blast. We will complete that on time, and it will be delivered with two runways immediately,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang.

SMC is developing the airport through San Miguel Aerocity Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., the infrastructure arm of SMC.

SMC signed a concession agreement with the government, represented by the Department of Transportation, to develop, construct, operate and maintain the NMIA in September 2019.

This was followed by the enactment of Republic Act 11506, granting a legislative franchise to SMAI for a domestic and international airport in the municipality of Bulakan that took effect on Jan. 15, 2021.

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Under the concession agreement, SMC aims complete the airport by 2027. SMC plans to deliver at least two runways by 2026.

The world-class airport will be developed in phases, with an initial capacity of 35 million passengers annually and a target of 100 million passengers annually, once fully completed.

The project will rise on over 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan, Bulacan, including various components such as airfield facilities, terminal building, airport and airline support facilities, access roads, parking facilities, utilities, and airport city and other ancillary facilities.

SMC’s international gateway project in Bulacan is seen to resolve the worsening airport and traffic congestion in Metro Manila and boost the Philippine economy.

It is projected to generate trillions of dollars in economic activity and job opportunities. The estimated annual impact on the economy would amount to nearly P900 billion.

Ang said the airport would be powered by renewable energy, specifically solar and battery energy storage systems as part of SMC’s efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources sustainably.

SMC also plans to build a 200-MW solar farm to help power the electricity needs of the airport.

The project is betting on green energy to have a dominant role in building a sustainable economy past the pandemic.

Ang said the company’s solar farm in Bulacan would come with a battery energy storage facility that could store power when generation is high, but power consumption is low and can be released when the demand is high.

“This battery storage will be a viable solution to balancing electricity loads and storing unstable energy supply coming from the sun and other renewable sources of energy which we are looking to utilize for the airport,” Ang said.

“Our approach has always been to use cutting-edge technology to shift sustainably to better fuels while balancing the needs of our country, economy, and people for affordable, reliable traditional fuel-based power. We continue to invest in technologies so that our power facilities would have as little impact as possible on the environment,” Ang said.

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