FOUR international consortia have expressed interest in a PPP concession to build the planned southern extension of Manila light rail Line 1 from Baclaran to Cavite.

LRTA Administrator Mel Robles confirmed last month that bids have been received from a Japanese construction firm, an Indian-American joint venture and two Spanish companies. The proposals are being vetted by the World Bank, which is expected to provide funding for the project, and formal bids are to be invited later this year.

The extension was to have been developed and built by SNC Lavalin as a BOT project, but LRTA cancelled the agreement in order to permit competitive bids. The project is currently expected to cost around US$430m, with the government funding the land acquisition and civil works totalling US$330m. The winning concessionaire would be responsible for providing the electrical and mechanical equipment. n