SMC taps Dutch firm for Bulacan airport project preparation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 15) — San Miguel Corporation has chosen a Dutch firm to start land development for its ₱740-billion Bulacan airport, which is set to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

In a statement Tuesday, SMC said the $1.73-billion contract, or around ₱83.2 billion, was awarded to Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., through its wholly-owned subsidiary Boskalis Philippines Inc. to start preparation works at the site of the New Manila International Airport in Bulakan town.

"Boskalis has committed to ensure the area will be suitable for development," SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said. "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."

Development of the airport site is expected to be completed by 2024.

A global dredging contractor, Boskalis is known for its portfolio of major projects across the world, including current development of Singapore's Tuas Terminal Phase 2 port and its Tekong polder projects.

It is also involved in the development of South Korea's Songdo International City, Punta Pacifica Islands in Panama, the five islands in Makassar in Indonesia, and the Ijburg residential area in Amsterdam.

"We enthusiastically look forward to applying this know-how for the land development of the project," Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski said. "During the construction phase, we will contribute to the local economy and the new airport will bring further growth to the whole Manila region."

Tagged as a "game-changer," the New Manila International Airport is seen to help decongest the country's primary gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is also seen to create over a million jobs for Filipinos that will boost economic activity.