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Philippines' Megawide offers US$3b plan to expand Manila airport

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Philippines' Megawide Construction Corp proposed on Thursday a US$3 billion plan to upgrade and operate Manila's over-stretched international airport, undercutting a US$6.7 billion investment offer by a rival consortium earlier.

[MANILA] Philippines' Megawide Construction Corp proposed on Thursday a US$3 billion plan to upgrade and operate Manila's over-stretched international airport, undercutting a US$6.7 billion investment offer by a rival consortium earlier.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged a six-year, US$180 billion infrastructure overhaul of ageing roads, railways, ports and airports that have become a logistical headache in one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

The proposal, by Megawide's joint venture with India's GMR Infrastructure Ltd, would be cheaper than the one put forward by seven of the Philippines' largest conglomerates last month to modernise and more than triple the capacity of the Manila airport.

The plan to decongest and rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country's main gateway, would entail a US$3 billion investment over six years, Megawide said in a disclosure to the stock exchange regulator. "It is vital to immediately decongest NAIA and maximize its potential in order to sustainably support the air traffic needs of the greater capital region," said Louie Ferrer, a representative of the GMR Megawide consortium.

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The proposed investment would increase aircraft capacity by up to 35 per cent, double terminal space and more than double its capacity to 72 million passengers a year, Megawide said.

GMR Megawide manages an airport in central Philippines, while GMR operates the New Delhi and Istanbul airports.

REUTERS