Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, March 01, 2010

SBMA to receive P9.49 billion from Harbour Centre deal

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will receive around P9.49 billion in the next 25 years should the agreement between the authority and Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) pushes through.

“With an attractive revenue-sharing structure, the SBMA will generate significant income from the joint venture that would reach P9.49 billion or US$197.4 million over the 25-year period,” SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said.

“This is in line with the Subic Bay Port Development Project (SBPDP), a project of the SBMA to upgrade the port facilities of Subic Bay Freeport,” he said.

“With the completion of the initial phase of the SBPDP through the development of the container terminals, the SBMA is now poised to pursue the rehabilitation, improvement and development of the non-containerized port facilities here,” Arreza said.

The joint venture agreement mandates HCPTI to develop, operate and manage portions of the Naval Supply Deport (NSD), an area inside the Subic Bay Freeport where supplies were loaded and unloaded during its occupancy by the US Navy.

“The joint venture would also give Harbour Center the right to develop port areas inside Subic such as Boton, Alava, Rivera and Bravo,” Arreza said.

“In clauses, this is an unsolicited proposal. We got this unsolicited proposal on November 16 and then we evaluated the proposal solicited to the board (of SBMA) and then went on to renegotiations with both parties,” Arreza said.

Arreza clarified that another bidder could still give a higher offer, subject to Swiss challenge, wherein HCPTI has the right to match any offer.

Harbour Center, for its part, said it is looking forward to become a major player in the Freeport.

“Being the largest private commercial port operator for non-containerized cargo in the country, HCPTI is keen on partnering with the SBMA in undertaking a development, management and operational plan that will transform Subic Bay Freeport into a premiere logistics hub in the country,” HCPTI President Michael Romero said.

The signing of the joint venture agreement was held at the EDSA Shangri la and was attended by Arreza, SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga, HCPTI Chairman Reghis Romero II and HCPTI President and CEO Michael Romero. By JONAS REYES - MANILA BULLETIN

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