airport generic
For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Pixabay

Manila: San Miguel Corp. is poised to win a $15-billion airport project near the Philippine capital and begin construction before the yearend after no challenger came forward to match its proposal.

The Transportation Department expects to issue a notice for San Miguel to proceed with the project by the first week of September, paving the way for a groundbreaking by the fourth quarter, it said in a statement after the bid proceedings on Wednesday.

The contract is pending award after the department's technical working group asked for more time to study the deal. The review should proceed quickly since there are no rival bids to evaluate, Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso said in a mobile-phone message.

San Miguel, the nation's largest company which was once a major shareholder of Philippine Airlines Inc., wants to build and operate a new airport in Bulacan province amid air traffic congestion at Manila's 71-year-old gateway. The proposed airport will have a terminal capacity of 100 million passengers annually, four parallel runways, and a toll road connecting to the expressway.

San Miguel shares declined 2.2% as of the noontime break in Manila trading, surpassing the benchmark stock index's 1.1% drop.