DIVERSIFIED engineering and construction conglomerate Megawide Construction Corp. is bullish on the government’s aggressive infrastructure campaign, as it seeks to participate in the construction of road, bridges, and railway projects throughout the country.
Megawide President and Chief Operating Officer Edgar B. Saavedra said the company is seeking partnerships with foreign contractors, most likely from Japan, to acquire the technological know-how for these types of projects.
“That’s why we’re also looking at potential partners who have those expertise. Because right now, we still don’t have the expertise in bridges. We will be partnering with probably foreign contractors who wants to come in. So once we have those, we will be bidding heavily or aggressively,” Mr. Saavedra told reporters after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Pasig City on Monday.
Megawide has submitted an unsolicited proposal for the East West Railway Project. The 9.77-kilometer line, which will traverse Diliman in Quezon City to España Boulevard in Manila, will have 11 stations with interconnecting facilities to neighboring rail systems. The project seeks to ease traffic congestion in the area.
“We already have the original proponent status. It was already endorsed by the DoTr (Department of Transportation) to NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority). We’re waiting for NEDA approval,” Mr. Saavedra said.
An unsolicited proposal by a private company willing to undertake a project is deemed to be private-sector led, as opposed to a response to a request from the government. The original proponent of a project gets the advantage in such case under a Swiss challenge — the course the government takes when dealing with unsolicited proposals. This requires an invitation to make competing offers while giving the original proponent the right to match them.
Meanwhile, Megawide said it is currently on track to finish the construction of the second terminal of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) by June 2018.
The joint venture company of Megawide and Bangalore-based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd. had won the contract for the P17.52-billion MCIA Passenger Terminal Building project under the Aquino administration’s flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program and the concession to develop MCIA for a period of 25 years.
Megawide is also planning to pursue its unsolicited P209-billion proposal for the 50-year development of MCIA, as well as plans for a second independent parallel runway. It is proposing that the construction be done in three phases, first with the rehabilitation of existing runway and taxiways, then a second parallel and independent runway, and finally, Terminal 3.
The conglomerate is also participating in the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for Clark International Airport slated for this November, as well as the operations and maintenance contract that will be bid out in the first quarter of 2018. The airport’s target construction period will run from December 2017 to December 2020.
“Our experience in developing MCIA lends a distinct advantage because we can participate either as contractor or operator,” Mr. Saavedra said.
This year, Megawide is targeting between 10% and 15% growth in revenues as it banks on getting more construction projects from both the public and private sector.
“(This will be) driven with the mass housing type, wherein we can modularize the construction. And we’re also hoping we can work with the government to address the low-cost (housing), especially for the informal settlers, address the backlog, and address them with formal houses,” Mr. Saavedra said.
Megawide reported an attributable profit of P927 million in the first semester of 2017, slower than the P985 million recorded in the same period in 2016. Revenues, meanwhile, stood at P9.64 billion, 5.4% lower year on year.
Shares in Megawide added 12 centavos or 0.71% to P17.14 apiece at the stock exchange on Monday.
By Arra B. Francia