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P23.5B for CALAX seen ready by end-July

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The 4.69-kilometer expressway will link the Manila-Cavite Expressway to South Luzon Expressway, traversing the provinces of Cavite and Laguna. — INTERAKSYON

THE Metro Pacific group is hoping to close the fund-raising for the construction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) by next month.

MPCALA Holdings, Inc. President Luigi L. Bautista confirmed that the company is targeting to raise P23.5 billion for the project.

“Yes we are raising P23.5B for CALAX. Target close end of July,” he said in a text message.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo E. Franco said last year that the company had been in discussions with banks to borrow the funds needed for its road projects.

MPCALA, a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is the private concessionaire for the P35.43-billion CALAX project. The 44.6-kilometer toll road would link South Luzon Expressway (SLEx)-Mamplasan interchange to the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx).

DM Consunji, Inc. is MPCALA’s contractor for the construction of the Laguna segment of CALAX, while Leighton Asia is to take charge of the Cavite segment.

In May, Crown Asia Chemicals Corp. said it was tapped by MPCALA and DM Consunji to provide the pipes for the Laguna segment of CALAX.

The target completion date for the project is 2020. Once construction is done, it aims to cut travel time to and from CAVITEx and SLEx by 45 minutes.

In a regulatory filing, MPTC said it “signed a P900-million 10-year and a P1-billion 10-year term loan facilities with local banks” in March. It added, Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) took a P16.2-billion loan facility intended to “prepay portion of its existing debt and partially fund construction of its toll projects.”

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez