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San Miguel set to win US$15b Philippine airport project

[MANILA] San Miguel Corp is poised to win a US$15 billion airport project near the Philippine capital, potentially its biggest investment, after no challenger came forward to match its proposal.

The Transportation Department expects to issue a notice to proceed by the first week of September, paving the way for a groundbreaking in the fourth quarter, it said in a statement after the bid proceedings on Wednesday.

The review by a technical working group should proceed quickly since there are no rival bids to evaluate, Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso said in a mobile-phone message.

San Miguel, the nation's largest company which was once a major shareholder of Philippine Airlines Inc, has proposed to build and operate a new airport in Bulacan province amid air traffic congestion at Manila's 71-year-old gateway. The proposal underwent Swiss challenge as required by law, with the deadline on Wednesday for competing offers.

The proposed airport will have a terminal capacity of 100 million passengers annually, four parallel runways, and a toll road connecting to the expressway. It will be built "at no cost to government and with no subsidies or guarantees of any kind", San Miguel President and COO Ramon Ang said in a statement.

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San Miguel shares declined 0.7 per cent as at 1.52pm in Manila trading, paring back a 2.8 per cent drop earlier.


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