Dutch gov’t backs SMC's P740 B Bulacan Airport

Published May 25, 2022, 4:12 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

The Dutch government has approved about P84 billion export credit insurance (ECI) for the land development phase of San Miguel Corporation (SMC)’s P740-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulacan after over one year’s review of the project’s long-term environmental and social impact mitigation measures.

The Dutch government, represented by Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB), extended the ECI to Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., to cover its EUR 1.5 billion contract for land development works at the airport site in Bulakan, Bulacan, SMC announced Wednesday, May 25.

The NMIA project is the largest in Boskalis’ over 100-year history, and is also the largest export credit agency (ECA) insurance policy granted in the 90-year history of Atradius.

SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang thanked the Dutch government for its support to NMIA.

“This is a significant milestone not only for San Miguel and the NMIA project, but for the entire country,” he stated.

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“With this, we are closer to our dream of having a world-class, future-ready, and sustainably-built international gateway, proudly built by Filipinos for the Philippines.”

“This also validates our work with Boskalis to ensure that this project is done right, and will provide long-term economic, environmental, and social benefits to our host communities and Bulacan province,” he added.

“I am very pleased that all the hard work with a large team of experts has been successfully completed (today),” CEO Peter Berdowski remarked in a statement posted on Boskalis’ international website.

“For more than a year, we have worked intensively with Atradius DSB to ensure that the construction ofthe new airport will take place in a socially responsible manner,” he noted.

“In collaboration with Atradius DSB, the Dutch embassy, we succeeded in developing a broadly supported plan with an eye for the local community and the preservation of biodiversity,” according to Berdowski.

“This project is unique on so many levels. Firstly, of course, as a very important contract for our client Boskalis, but also for us, as the largest ECA policy in our 90-year history,” Atradius DSB Managing Director Bert Bruning said in the same statement.

“By keeping up the dialogue, we were able to ensure that the project is to meet international standards in the field of environmental and social conditions,” he pointed out.

“In doing so, we have not only contributed to making this wonderful contract possible built also really made a difference together for the local communities and nature.”

As part of the ECI process, a large group of experts from San Miguel, together with Boskalis and four renowned consultancy firms, conducted an extensive environmental and social impact assessment in accordance with the highest international standards.

This process also included the conduct of impact analyses and compensation packages for adverse effects of the project.

“This shows that the airport project and our environmental and social mitigation plans are not only sound, but robust and strong, given they can pass not only international standards but the exacting requirements of the Dutch government,” Ang underscored.

The airport project will feature four parallel runways, a world-class terminal, and a modern and interlinked infrastructure network that includes expressways and railways.

 
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