Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aurora ecozone construction of buildings and facilities delayed

CASIGURAN, Aurora, August 1, 2011-Roberto “Robbie” K. Mathay, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO) president and chief executive officer revealed that the completion of the P437-million corporate campus and other facilities of the APECO inside this freeport zone has been delayed.

“APECO’s timetable for construction of the corporate campus and other facilities inside the freeport has not been completed,” Mathay admitted, saying that the facilities are 60 percent completed. “Yes there was some slippage,” he said when asked by newsmen.

“The administration building of the Apeco originally set for completion in April, will be completed in September. The corporate campus is being constructed by the New Kanlaon Construction, Inc. which won the bid to construct the project.

NKCI chairman and chief executive officer Antonio Evangelista said that their firm is not to blame for the delay. “The facilities being built are not part of the original design. It’s not our company’s fault that the completion of the corporate campus was delayed,” he said in an interview by phone.

“It started during ground-breaking ceremonies last January 2010, Construction of Phase 1 that involves the corporate campus, which requires development of an initial 24 hectares. It includes development of access roads, installation of underground utilities, water and electrical lines, drainage and sanitation and telephone and cable facilities,” he recalled.

NKCI president Rolly Narciso said that during the ground-breaking rites, they expect the hotel to be finished in March 2011, the telephone facilities to be installed in April 2011 and the administration building to rise in September 2011.         

The corporate campus will house a two-story administration building, a three-star hotel and other amenities. The corporate campus will also have a clubhouse, a dormitory for workers, and service support buildings.

The site is located beside the newly completed airport some 30 minute drive from the town proper, some two hours from the capital town of Baler and six hours from Manila.

“While the buildings have not been completed yet, most of the road networks leading to the corporate campus are already finished. We will soon start construction of the 50-room hotel which will be completed in the first semester of next year. The hotel is supposed to be finished last March,” Mathay said.

Senator Engardo J. Angara and
Congressman Sonny Angara.
Mathay added that Apeco deputy administrator Ramon Fernando has already discussed with representatives of Globe and Smart Communications for the setting up of a telephone system within the corporate campus where a call center is being eyed.

He said that if we have a call center inside the ecozone, we can then sell bandwidth space to the town of Casiguran.            

Senator Edgardo J. Angara along with Congressman Juan Edgardo Angara, authored Republic Act 9490 creating the Aurora Special Economic Zone, said that once the economic zone becomes fully operational, the province will become a hub of development in northeastern Luzon covering Aurora, eastern Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

“The newly finished P157-million airport constructed by Cavacon Corp. will serve as an international airport featuring a two-kilometer runway that can accommodate large aircrafts,” he ended. (Jason de Asis)

P2.4-B international container seaport to rise in Aurora ecozone

CASIGURAN, Aurora, August 1, 2011-Roberto “Robbie” K. Mathay, president and chief executive officer of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) said that a P2.4-billion international container seaport is set to be constructed here by the South Korean government aimed to transform this economic zone into a logistics hub for exportation of agro-fishery, timber and industrial products in central Luzon and northern Luzon.

“The project will be funded through Official Development Assistance of the Korean government with counterpart funding from the national government,” Mathay said, adding that a consortium composed of the Dasan Engineering and DY Engineering companies completed the feasibility study for the international container seaport after three months. The study was funded through a P15-million grant from the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund.

“It’s a very huge and important project. The modern container port, which is projected to be finished in four years, will complement the domestic seaport and will attract business locators; thus, spurring economic development not only in Central Luzon but also in Cagayan Valley through the export products of five (5) provinces in Northern Luzon,” Mathay said.

He furthered that the project can accommodate a 50,000-metric ton capacity ship and will have berthing facilities, superstructure facilities such as a multipurpose wharf with storage yards, passenger wharf and fishery wharf for marine products; cargo handling equipment such as 350-ton capacity harbor cranes, forklifts with a maximum 25-ton capacity and sewage treatment facilities.

“This container seaport will serve as alternative gateway for cargo destined for Manila and considerably reduce cargo transport cost and transport time. The current cost of transporting a 20-foot container van from the Manila North Harbor to Casiguran is at P75,000,” he said.

“Imagine if we have a container port here, this will be drastically lessened. The port has the ability to provide more convenient, efficient and cost-effective shipping services for exporters,” he furthered.
Mathay said that instead of unloading marine products such as yellow fin to Navotas, these can be processed in Casiguran, similar to what they do in fish ports in General Santos City and Davao.  

It is estimated that the container seaport will have a cargo volume of 733,000 tons per year under the feasibility study of the project. The planned jetty-type, 210-meter long multipurpose wharf, will allow berthing at both sides of a maximum size vessel of up to 20,000 dead-weight tons (dwt).

Kent Avestruz, APECO manager for corporate planning said that the passenger wharf is projected to provide a berth of 100 meters which allows 400-gross ton capacity coastal cruise vessels to berth. The fishery wharf will be equipped with a 100-meter berth for small scale ships and ship repair facilities. 

The study revealed the two types of cargo in the area: the cargo produced within the economic zone and the cargo from other ports. It stated that this is where the container seaport will play an important role in handling the cargo from the freeport zone which is located at the rear of the port.
A high-level team from the consortium led by project coordinator Shan Sheonghan Kim conducted an ocular inspection of the site of the container port project in Pagas Point in Barangay Dibacong along the Casiguran Bay last January. Kim was accompanied in the trip by three (3) engineering coordinators Se Wook Yeo, Ji Hoon Lee and Hyuk-Yoon Kwon.

“The container seaport project will accommodate the produce not only of Aurora but also in the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino,” he said. (Jason de Asis)


Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this blog do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of "THE CATHOLIC MEDIA NETWORK NEWS ONLINE".

Should the Philippine government legalize same-sex marriage?