A unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. plans to start the construction of the P9-billion C5 Link Expressway Project by January 2016.
“We got the notice to proceed, but we are asking the Toll Regulatory Board to revise the notice to proceed because we want to extend it to a certain interchange,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. chief financial officer Christopher Lizo told reporters over the weekend. MPTC is a unit of MPIC.
“Hopefully, we can get it by end of the year and we can start construction by January,” he added.
Lizo said the company planned to spend P2 billion next year for the first segment of the C5 Link project.
He added the company was in talks with two to three local banks to fund the P9-billion expressway project.
The project covers the C5 crossing the South Luzon Expressway and will pass through the Merville Subdivision beside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before connecting to the Cavitex. The project is expected to be operational by 2019.
MPIC in 2012 signed a P6.77-billion financing and cooperation agreement with Cavitex Holdings Inc. that allows MPTC to take 100 percent of Cavitex Infrastructure.
Under the agreement, Cavitex Holdings will issue a convertible note to MPTC, giving it the option to convert the debt to new, non-voting redeemable preferred shares or, subject to certain approvals and conditions, common shares of Cavitex Infrastructure.
The Metro Pacific Group also operates the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway.
MPTC is the largest toll road operator in the country, operating 60 percent of the country’s 320 kilometers of toll roads.
Five foreign companies earlier expressed interest in teaming up with MPTC for its expressway projects.
Manila North Tollways Corp. president and chief executive Rodrigo Franco said he had initial talks with five foreign firms during an investment and infrastructure roadshow in the United States in June for possible partnerships. MNTC is a unit of MPTC.
“They are looking for investment opportunities in the Philippines and they are interested in rail and roads,” Franco said.
“We are open to partnerships. We are still trying to figure out if it’s at the MPTC level or at the project level. We still have that option. It could be at the MPTC or it could be at Calax [Cavite-Laguna Expressway],” he said.
Metro Pacific earlier said it planned to sell its 20-percent stake in MPTC with an estimated value of P16 billion.
MPIC owns 99.88 percent of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which in turn owns 71 percent of MNTC, 46 percent of Tollways Management Corp., 100 percent of Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. and 7.4 percent of Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd.
Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the company was also open to a partnership for the P35.4-billion Cavite Laguna Expressway project.
“If anything, minimum, I suppose, is about 20 percent,” Pangilinan had said, when asked if the company was willing to share a stake in the unit.
MPCala Holdings Inc., a unit of MPIC, which won the Calax project, was searching for a partner to develop the four-lane, 47-kilometer closed-system toll expressway connecting Manila-Cavite Expressway and South Luzon Expressway.