Aboitiz to help close infra gap

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    Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. is looking at opportunities outside the airport and common tower businesses to address the infrastructure gap in the country.

    Cosette Canilao, Aboitiz InfraCapital chief operating officer, said the company plans to submit an unsolicited proposal this year.

    “We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to be part of the solution in filling the gap in our infrastructure requirements,” Canilao said but did not disclose the project details.

    Aboitiz InfraCapital has three unsolicited proposals for airport projects that are pending approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Investment Coordination Committee.

    The company obtained original proponent status for the unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation, operation, maintenance and expansion of Bohol-Panglao International Airport and Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

    Aboitiz is also part of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) consortium which submitted an unsolicited proposal to operate, rehabilitate and maintain the congested NAIA for P102 billion.

    Canilao said the consortium is optimistic to obtain the NEDA Board approval for the NAIA airport project this year.

    “Within the year (approval), I think the direction from the government is quite clear right now, it’s a matter of the process taking its course. We’re hoping… for the (approval) soonest,” she said.

    On the common tower business, Aboitiz InfraCapital and its partner Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. (FTAP) are expected to close the deal with third telecom DITO Telecommunity Corp. for the common tower facility.

    Canilao said the company is in talks with DITO and is expected to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the lease of its towers.

    “For DITO, we already signed the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and we are about to sign the MOU. We’re also talking about the requirements,” she said.

    Aboitiz InfraCapital and its partner FTAP have signed an MOU with Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. for common tower facilities in Visayas and Mindanao.

    “ We’re waiting for the commercial terms and the technical terms,” Canilao said.

    Aboitiz InfraCapital is finalizing the number of towers it would need to provide the telcos.

    Canilao said it will allow telcos to use more than ten thousands of utility towers in Visayas and Mindanao as common towers.

    “We have existing towers, the distribution utilized, if that is their requirement, we are ready, that’s what we’re offering to them. They are looking at the location of our existing towers in VisMin,” she said.

    Aboitiz InfraCapital will leverage its parent firm’s extensive experience in building and operating provincial utility networks like Visayan Electric, Davao Light, and Cotabato Light.

    In addition, Aboitiz InfraCapital unit Apo Agua is currently constructing the country’s largest private bulk water supply facility in Davao City. It also has stakes in Lima Water Corp. and Balibago Waterworks Systems Inc.

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