Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Subic toll road auction set

State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority is now bidding the contract to operate the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway at a floor price of P38.9 billion, payable over the thirty-three-and-a-half-year life of the concession.

“BCDA intends to select a private sector partner for the management, operations and maintenance of the SCTEx,” said BCDA in a published notice.

BCDA said it would form a joint venture with the future operator of the 94-kilometer toll road to augment its funds on the face of significant debt service payments starting in 2011. At least P1.2 billion in BCDA debt is due by that year.

The agency said the bid price is payable in semi-annual leases for thirty-three-and-a-half years at a constant exchange rate of two Japanese yen to one peso.

The amount will cover the loan and financing charges of the Finance Department.

The auction notice said the private sector partner would be responsible for the operational funding requirements for the toll road, including insurance and provision for services such as management, toll collection, traffic safety and maintenance.

The winning bidder will also provide BCDA a semi-annual concession fee amounting to the peso equivalent of the yen-denominated loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and financing charges payable to the agency 10 days prior to due dates, or 20 percent of the audited gross toll revenues, whichever is higher.

BCDA said it would furnish the terms of reference to prospective bidders from Oct. 26 to Nov. 6 upon payment of a non-refundable fee of P250,000 in cash.

The agency will hold a pre-bid conference on Nov. 10 at the BCDA corporate center to discuss the terms and other issues that may be raised by the prospective bidders.

Victor Zablan, BCDA vice president for finance services group, said earlier that BCDA needed a private sector partner to improve the financial viability of the toll project, which would start servicing its P26-billion debt by 2011.

The agency has been looking at several options to shore up its finances. It needs to raise between P950 million and P1 billion on the first year of payment on its loan amortization plus interest.

BCDA has secured a P19-billion loan from Jica to bankroll the construction of the toll road. It signed an additional supplemental loan of P7 billion to finance the construction of interchanges along the expressway and escalation costs. by Elaine R. Alanguilan - Manila Standard

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