Philippine Port Project Draws Multi-National Attention
MANILA, July 29 (Reuters) - A 18.99 billion pesos ($417.91 million) project to modernise a port in the southern Philippines has attracted interest from five groups, a government official said on Wednesday, with bids due to be lodged by the fourth quarter.
The government aims to award the contract in April to develop, operate and manage the Davao Sasa port over a 30-year concession period. It will be the first public-private partnership project award by the government on Mindanao, an island blighted by a long-running Islamist militant insurgency.
The five groups that have submitted pre-qualification documents included Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp partnered with Dutch firm APM Terminals Management BV, , Cosette Canilao, head of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Centre, told reporters.
Asian Terminals Inc has teamed up with DP World Ltd , from the United Arab Emirates in submitting pre-bid documents, Canilao said.
Other firms that submitted qualification papers were International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), owned by the Philippines' third richest man Enrique Razon, France's Bollore SA and Singapore's Portek International Pte Ltd, Canilao said.
An ICTSI official confirmed the company's participation in the pre-qualification process, while San Miguel officials were not immediately available for comment.
The government PPP programme aims to upgrade ageing infrastructure in one of Asia's fastest growing economies.
The Davao region exports bananas - the Philippines is the world's second largest exporter of the fruit.
The government has so far awarded 10 infrastructure projects worth 168 billion pesos ($3.7 billion) since launching the PPP programme in 2010. Eleven other projects worth $11.9 billion have been rolled out. ($1 = 45.4600 Philippine pesos) (Reporting By Neil Jerome Morales