AT least three foreign firms are expected to challenge the offer of port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) to operate the Subic container port.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said Asian and European firms have expressed interest to bid for the 30-year operation and management of the Subic port this month. Arreza, however, declined to identify the companies.
The three firms will have to beat the offer of ICTSI subsidiary Subic International Terminal Holdings, which holds the right of first refusal. The SBITC proposal will be subjected to a Swiss Challenge where it will be pitted against other interested bidders.
The NCT-1 facility up for bid includes a container yard, four gantry cranes and other buildings. The winning bidder will build its own administration building, engineering office, truck-holding area, refueling station and field office.
The minimum bid is $1.5 million annually in lease and concession fees and a revenue sharing per container of 10% to 14% per container.
The ICTSI offer, if unchallenged, may be approved and awarded as early as this month.
SBMA hopes to generate at least $45 million in lease and concession fees for the 30-year contract, $3.5 million per year as share in the handling of up to 300,000 TEUs, and an estimated $1 million in annual wharfage fees.
SBMA projects a 200% increase in container traffic once the terminal becomes fully operational this year.
Breakbulk cargo operations in 2006 grew 35% from 2005 due to the full commercial operation of the grains and fertilizer terminal last year. The facility expects annual growth of 40%.
For the past two years, SBMA registered a combined container volume of 65,587 TEUs, 5% lower than the 69,521 TEUs it registered in 2004. With the new terminals, SBMA expects container traffic to double to 100,000-150,000 TEUs in the first year of operation, and increasing by 100,000 TEUs starting the second half of 2008.
The impending operation of the Subic-Clark toll road is seen to bring even more export cargo to Subic. When the road opens, the two-hour trip to Subic from Clark will be cut by more than 60%.