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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

$ 82.9-M Puerto Princesa Airport Project Awarded to Korean Joint Venture


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Another one of the country’s premier tourist destinations will soon boast of a world-class international airport, after the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded a US$ 82.9-Million design-and-build contract for the Puerto Princesa airport to Korea’s Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering & Construction Joint Venture (Kumho-GS).

“The eco-tourism showcase that is Puerto Princesa, as well as the rest of Palawan, will soon have a modern, world-class airport which we can be as proud of as the destination itself. With beaches and other natural wonders attracting throngs of visitors from all over the globe, it will finally have a gateway that is befitting of its stature,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya.

In compliance with its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract, Kumho-GS will begin with the design component by the third quarter of this year. While the joint venture is preparing the airport’s detailed engineering design, it will likewise begin mobilizing its equipment and securing various project permits.

Civil works at the existing site, or the build component, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. The project scope includes the construction of a new passenger terminal building, cargo terminal building, apron, connecting taxiways, a new air navigation system, and other support facilities.

Kumho-GS will have around thirty (30) months to complete the project, which means that the DOTC expects the modern airport to be fully operational by first quarter of 2017.

Once the project is completed, the airport will have an annual capacity of about 2 million passengers. In 2013, it counted 1.335 million passengers, which is way beyond its passenger terminal building’s (PTB) current estimated capacity of only 350,000 passengers per annum.

“Apart from boosting our tourism sector, this project will also generate jobs, particularly in the infrastructure sector. Overall, the estimate is up to 1,400 total new jobs during construction alone,” Abaya added.

The project is largely funded through a Korean Export Import Bank (KEXIM) loan, to the tune of US$ 71.612 Million. The loan is payable in forty (40) years, inclusive of a ten-and-a-half-year grace period, at a concessional interest rate of 0.1% per annum.

As a tied official development assistance (ODA) loan, the bidding process was governed by the Guidelines for Procurement of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), and decisions were concurred with by KEXIM. Bidding for the project was also limited to South Korean firms.

Earlier this year, the DOTC awarded the contract for another major international airport, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, under the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. It is also expected to boost tourism and economic activity, not only in the Visayas region, but for the country as a whole.

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