Bataan freeport hopeful of another banner year

MANILA, Philippines – The Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) hopes to match, if not beat, its 2014 banner performance this year with more investment commitments in power, infrastructure and port development expected in the second half.

FAB chairman Deogracias Custodio said in a recent interview that it would be difficult for the freeport zone to surpass the P84-billion investment pledges just in the first half of 2014.

However, he said the freeport zone is trying to match the record-high investment commitments last year.

“If P84 billion was what we had last year, it should be the target this year,” he said.

“Although the timing of our investments are not divided equally throughout the year, the way I see it is we will be able to catch up in the second half of the year,” he added.

The FAB generated nearly P83.96 billion worth of investments just in the first semester of last year, over 138,000 percent higher compared to the P60.55-million investment pledges that it recorded in the same period last year.

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Custodio said the AFAB is talking to big projects, which “may carry us to equal, if not surpass the performance of last year.”

He declined to divulge the identity of the companies but their investments are in power, infrastructure and port development.

In port development, Custodio said the AFAB is currently in talks with a company for a containerized port.

“We don’t have a containerized port yet, and that’s something in the discussions we’re having with proponents now, maybe we can have something to announce within the year,” he said.

Last year, Seasia Nectar Port Services Inc. (SNPSI), a joint venture company between Seasia Logistic Philippines Inc. and Nectar Group Ltd., said it would build an 11.4-hectare port in Mariveles in Bataan.

The joint venture company has started the P3-billion Phase-1 development of the port in January and company officials said it is expected to be completed within the year.

This investment may be firmed up in the “next couple of months,” the AFAB chairman said. “It’s a Chinese facility that will cater to the regional market. It will also supply the domestic market but they will make the most of the Asean market.”

Custodio also said the AFAB is in discussions with another firm to develop a coal power plant. “In the next couple of months, we’ll have an announcement. But as of now, it doesn’t look to be as big as GN Power’s expansion which was 1,200 megawatts (MW).”



Written by

Danessa O. Rivera

(The Philippine Star)