Under a contract worth about P7.3 billion, Leighton will build the Cavite side of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX)

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest infrastructure firm, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), is set to sign a P7.3-billion contract with Australia’s Leighton Holdings for the construction of a portion of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

“We just finished the negotiation, so we’re scheduling the contract signing with Leighton. We plan to do the contract signing in November,” Luigi Bautista, president and chief executive officer of MPCALA Holdings Incorporated, told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing in Tagaytay last Thursday, October 5.

MPCALA Holdings is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the tollways arm of MPIC.

Bautista said that under the contract, Leighton would build the Cavite side of CALAX.

CALAX is the planned 44.6-kilometer, 4-lane toll road between the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite and the South Luzon Expressway-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

“By January, they will start the construction for the Cavite side of CALAX,” Bautista said. (READ: Metro Pacific sustains double-digit income growth despite tariff issues)

Meanwhile, DM Consunji Incorporated is in charge of the Laguna side of CALAX. It started construction in April this year.

On top of the project’s P35.42-billion construction cost, MPCALA paid the government a premium bid of P27.3 billion to win the infrastructure project.

MPCALA will operate and maintain CALAX for 35 years. After that, the operations and maintenance of the expressway will be in the government’s hands.

Metro Pacific is spending P153 billion until the 1st quarter of 2018 to start building highways and toll roads around the Philippines.

Aside from CALAX, Metro Pacific also bagged the P11.7-billion Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) C5 South Link and P27.9-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway deals.

Meanwhile, its North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road from C3 in Caloocan to Sta Mesa in Manila is set to start construction by next year. – Rappler.com