Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, January 31, 2010

SBMA set to award 2nd container terminal contract in July

With the global financial crisis easing up on cargo shipping lines, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects to award the winning bidder of the New Container Terminal-2 (NCT-2), the second phase of the $215-million Subic port modernization, in July this year.

SBMA Administrator Armand C. Arreza, who is also chairman of the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) for Port Commercialization, said they are proceeding with its second attempt to privatize the port.

“We are still in the publication phase. We hope to award the winning bidder by July this year,” said Arreza.

The first bidding for NCT-2 early last year failed because of the global financial crisis, which caused trade volumes to collapse and forcing cargo ships to park.

He said the original 7 parties that expressed interest to bid for NCT-2 are still vying for the project.

During the first attempt to bid out NCT-2, major international carriers were expected to join including China Overseas Shipping Corp., OOCL, American Presidents Lines, Maersk and Evergreen.

This followed as SBMA prefers bidders to be engaged in shipping lines operations or a combination of port operators and shipping lines to bid for the NCT-2 to guarantee the base cargo of the terminal.

“An eligible bidder should be an operator of an international container shipping line or a consortium of operators of international shipping lines,” Arreza said.

Arreza hopes that big liners would make NCT-2 its Southeast Asian hub where they will consolidate cargoes rather than go to places like Hongkong which is so expensive.
NCT-2 is being positioned as a transshipment hub for shipping lines has an annual cargo-handling capacity of 300,000 TEUs, which can be expanded to 600,000 TEUs. The capacity has potential annual revenues of $6 million, including wharfage fees.

SBMA expects that the operations of the NCT-2 will further boost its break-bulk business that has been swelling by about 40 percent annually three years prior to the global financial crisis in 2009 and complement with NCT-1 in the containerized cargo business. The government has invested $80 million for NCT-2.

NCT-2 has 14 hectares of newly constructed container yard, a 280-meter long newly-constructed wharf, two units of 53-ton quay gantry cranes, as well as buildings, equipment and utilities within the area.

Arreza said that to be eligible in the bidding, the bidder should be an operator of an international container shipping line or a consortium of operators of international shipping lines.

He added that the bidder should be currently operating an international container port terminal that handles at least 2 million TEUs per year, or has an operating capacity of 100,000 TEUs, a figure which could be combined for a bidding consortium.

Further, the bidder or consortium of bidders should have a net worth of at least $50 million, which could also be a combined net worth in case of a consortium.

As for financial qualifications, Arreza said the bidders should be able to submit audited financial statements for the last five years; a sworn statement that there has been no materials change in the financial condition since the last audited financial statement; and letters or testimonials from reputable banks that the bidder is banking with them. By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT - Manila Bulletin

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