Home » Maritime » 2 other Subic ports up for privatization by mid-year

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects to privatize its two remaining ports within the first semester.

SBMA seaport manager Capt. Perfecto Pascual said the bidding documents for the New Container Terminal 2 (NCT 2) and Naval Supply Depot (NSD) – comprising the Marine Terminal, Rivera, Alaba and Bravo piers – are being rushed to meet the publication deadline set for end-March.

If all falls according to plan, SBMA will come out with results of the evaluation of the bid documents by May. The tentative contract awarding is scheduled for June.

The privatization has been delayed for two years due to tepid investor interest.

“Unlike our initial attempts to privatize the ports, we have (now) received several proposals… and we just have to subject (them) to a Swiss Challenge,” Pascual said.

“If there is no challenge from other possible stakeholders, we can immediately resort to a negotiated bid with those who already submitted their proposals.”

At the moment, SBMA is sitting on the unsolicited offer of Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc to operate the 10,000-square meter NSD, SBMA’s biggest bulk and break-bulk cargo terminal.

Capable of handling about 100,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the NSD will be used for general cargo. The contract to operate the facility covers 25 years.

The NCT-2 has been idle after its completion two years ago. Last year, the four-year $1.10 per square meter per day lease agreement with foreign manufacturing firm Bechtel did not materialize.

NCT-2 has a capacity of 300,000 TEUs, expandable to 600,000 TEUs. The facility has potential annual revenues of $6 million, including wharfage fees. The annual lease for the port, which has a lifespan of 50 years, will be enough to shoulder the $60-million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation used to partly fund the project.

In 2009, Subic’s container volume declined 0.4% to 29,252 TEUs from 29,372 TEUs in 2008 attributed mainly to the negative effects of the global financial crisis. The 2009 total figure, however is higher by 2.3% compared to the 28,553-TEU target.

Its bulk and break-bulk volume, meanwhile, increased 18.5% to 2.214 million metric tons (mmt) from 1.868 mmt posted in 2008. The figure is also higher by 1% compared to the target of 2.194 mmt.





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