North-South Rail qualifying session delayed two weeks

"In order to give prospective bidders sufficient time to prepare their qualification documents... please be advised that the Qualification Documents Submission Date scheduled on 31 March 2016 is moved to 15 April 2016, 10:00 a.m.," Transportation Undersecretary for Operations and PPP Implementation Edwin R. Lopez said in General Bid Bulletin No. 08-2016 dated March 18.

The qualification documents will be opened right after the submission at the agency's headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

"Qualification Documents submitted after the deadline shall not be accepted," said Mr. Lopez, who also chairs the Pre-qualification, Bids and Awards Committee.

The agency has yet to release the updated timeline for the rest of the bidding process.

At least 27 companies have shown interest in the railway project and two conglomerates, Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. formally asked the agency to extend the deadline for the qualification.

Other firms that showed up during the NSRP's prequalification conference included AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of the Ayala group, BF Corp., Boygues Travaux Publics Phils., Inc., Bureau Veritas SA, Daelim Philippines, Inc., Linaheim Corporate Services, Inc., Manila Electric Co. unit MRAIL, Inc., Pacific Concrete Products, Inc., Philab Industries, Inc., Philippine Skylanders International, Inc.; San Miguel Holdings Corp., Acciona, SA, Aecom Technology Corp., ArcelorMittal SA, General Electric Co., Grupo Isolux Corsan, SA, Marubeni Corp., Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Leighton Contractors (Philippines) Inc., Macquarie Capital, Obrascon Huarte LaAn, S.A. (Singapore), Rainbow Holdings, Inc., RAJI, Inc., RATP Dev Transdev Asia -- a joint venture between the RATP Dev and Transdev groups, and South Korea's Daewoo Group.

The planned line will run from Tutuban station in Manila to Legazpi City in Albay province. The winning bidder will "design, construct, install, commission, finance, operate, and maintain" the 56-kilometer (km) commuter rail from Tutuban to Calamba, Laguna, as well as the 478-km long-haul rail from Tutuban to Legazpi, Albay for 34 years, according to the project brief on the PPP Center Web site.

The long-haul line has two possible extensions: 58 km from Calamba, Laguna to Batangas City and 117 km from Legazpi to Matnog, Sorsogon.

So far, contracts for 12 PPP projects cumulatively worth some P217.4 billion have been awarded since the infrastructure flagship was launched in the third quarter of 2010.

MPIC is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong's First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. -- a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. -- maintains an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

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