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SMC taps global firm for Bulacan airport project

San Miguel Corp.’s P740-billion “game-changing” Manila International Airport project in Bulacan is set to take off in the first quarter of 2021, after it awarded global firm Boskalis a $1.73-billion contract to restore land at what would be the largest and most modern international gateway in the country.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said Dutch firm Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., through its wholly-owned subsidiary Boskalis Philippines Inc., was chosen to undertake land development works for the airport project, after a rigorous selection process that included the world’s biggest and best dredging companies.

“Our selection of a global giant in dredging shows how ready, willing, and committed we are to do everything necessary to make sure this airport project is developed properly and sustainably. We will make sure it will serve and benefit Filipinos, our host province Bulacan, and the rest of the Philippines, for many generations to come,” Ang said.

“Boskalis has committed to ensure that the area will be suitable for development. It will be designed with the highest technical and environmental standards so it can withstand potential large earthquakes, local typhoon conditions, and even future sea level rise,” he said.

Boskalis, a global dredging contractor with a rich heritage and successful track record spanning more than a century, is known for major projects worldwide such as the ongoing development of Singapore’s Tuas Terminal Phase 2 port and its Tekong polder projects.

With the selection of Boskalis, Ang said preparatory works on land development at the airport site in Bulakan, Bulacan is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2021 and is expected to be fully completed by 2024.

The contract is valued at about $1.8 billion.

Boskalis chief executive officer Peter Berdowski said: “The confirmation of this project of this scale is fantastic news. As Boskalis, we have a rich tradition in creating land all over the world to the highest technical and environmental standards. We enthusiastically look forward to applying this know-how for the land development of the MIA Project. During the construction phase, we will contribute to the local economy and the new airport will bring further growth to the whole Manila region.”

Boskalis’ work plan and methodology include measures to prevent soil liquefaction in the entire area.

SMC’s Manila International Airport project, dubbed the largest investment in the country, is seen as a “game-changer” for the economy.

A long-awaited solution to Manila’s air traffic congestion woes, it is seen to make the country a more viable and competitive tourist and investment destination in the region.

It is also projected to create over a million jobs and boost local economies.

Boskalis is involved in many other landmark projects worldwide.

In South Korea, it is involved in the development of the Songdo International City.

It is also involved in the development of the Punta Pacifica Islands in Panama, the development of five islands in Makassar in Indonesia, and the ongoing development of the Ijburg residential area in Amsterdam.