SMC Reviews Airport Partners


By Jennifer B. Austria, MST
Image Source: Angelo Agcamaran

San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said Tuesday he is studying offers from several conglomerates interested in teaming up with his company to build a $10-billion Manila Bay airport.

Ang said in an interview he received calls from SM Investments Corp. vice chairman Tessie Sy and JG Summit Holdings Inc. president and chief operating officer Lance Gokongwei about the proposed airport project.

International Container Terminal Services Inc. chairman Enrique Razon Jr. was also quoted as saying last week he was willing to team up with SMC on the venture.

“I am thinking about it,” Ang said, when asked whether he was ready to form partnerships with interested parties for the airport project.

San Miguel early this month presented the proposed $10-billion modern international airport project to President Benigno Aquino III.

Ang said under the plan, the airport project would be designed to have four runways capable of handling 150 million passengers annually and could accommodate 250 takeoffs and landings per hour.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has a capacity of only 40 takeoffs and landings per hour, he said.

Ang said while San Miguel could handle the financing of the project and it was willing to invite other businessmen such as the Sys, Gokongweis and Zobels to participate in the development of the project.

Ang said the airport would be built on the project started by Cyber Bay Corp., which has already reclaimed 157 hectares in Las Piñas and Parañaque.

Ang said as the whole project would require 1,600 hectares of land, San Miguel was in talks with a potential partner that would oversee the reclamation and construction of the project.

San Miguel, which also owns a stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, proposed to finance the $10-billion construction cost of the new airport project, including an expressway that will connect the airport to the Makati central business district.

Ang said to enable San Miguel to recover the huge investments, the conglomerate proposed to operate the airport for a long-term period.

He said the proposed airport project would be more modern than the airports in Hong Kong and Singapore, both of which only have two runways.