Place your Ad Here!

An Overview of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network

by Philippine Resources - January 29, 2021

The road network in the Luzon area is well underway.

Known as the Luzon Spine Expressway Network, the network would soon be stretched from 382 kilometres to 905 kilometres of expressways. Not only will traffic be decongested (especially in Metro Manila), but travel time will be cut in half. For instance, instead of the usual travel time of 20 hours from Ilocos to Bicol, travel time will now be reduced to only 9 hours.

According to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the continuous build-up of cars on the road causes massive problems. He said, “Based on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) study, the Philippines losses P3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila. “The government will continue to implement the master plan on highway network development to address traffic congestions along with vital road networks in the country particularly in highly urbanized areas.”

He added, “The High Standard Highway (HSH) Network Development Masterplan will be updated by expanding the coverage from the sphere of 200 kilometres to 300-kilometre radius around Metro Manila. Expanding the expressway network will hasten the economic development of regional cities to avoid over-concentration of socio-economic activities in Metro Manila and eventually diminish the economic disparities across the country.”

Among the 23 expressways part of the Spine Network, only seven have been completed so far, which is around 109 kilometres of road. These are the 5.58-kilometre NLEX Harbor Link’s Segment 10 and 2.60-kilometer C3-R10 Section completed and delivered in 2019 and 2020 which connects the C-3 and McArthur Highway; the 14.85-kilometre NAIA Expressway, Phase II completed in 2017; the 27.31-kilometre Urdaneta City -Rosario, La Union Section of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway completed; the 9.96-kilometre Arterial (Plaridel) By-Pass Road, Phase II completed in 2018.

Some of these roads that are being constructed right now are the 18.83 kilometres Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 which connects the South Luzon Expressway to the North Luzon Expressway and expected to open in December 2021; the 8.35-kilometre NLEX Harbor Link, Segment 8.2 which is projected to start in 2021 to 2024, expected to reduce travel time from Mindanao Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue from 45 minutes to 10 minutes; the widening of the 24.61 km bypass road from two lanes to four lanes which include 10 bridges (1,439.72 l.m.), slope stabilization works, and drainage facilities.

Other projects include the 30-kilometre Central Luzon Link Expressway, CLLEx which is already 90% complete and runs from Cabanatuan to Tarlac; the four-kilometre Alabang-Sucat Skyway Connection and Ramp Extension Project which is already 47% completed; the 8-kilometre NLEX-SLEX Connector Road which is already 11% completed; the 7.7-kilometre Manila Cavite Toll Expressway Project, C-5 South Link Expressway which is expected to be completed in 2022; the 32.66-kilometre Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C-6 (Phase I) which is at 12% progress.

Also, projects that are well underway include the Cavite-Laguna Expressway; the South Luzon Expressway-Toll Road 4 Project; the Camarines Sur Expressway.

There are also projects which are waiting for approval or under a feasibility study. These are the 59.4-kilometre TPLEX Extension from Rosario to San Juan, La Union; the 127-kilometre North Eastern Luzon Expressway; the proposed 19-kilometre North Luzon East Expressway, NLEE (La Mesa Parkways Project) costing P7.8 billion; the C3 Missing Link Project; the 50.43-kilometre Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX); the Quezon-Bicol Expressway.

Villar added, “A masterplan study on proposed tunnel projects will be developed to address constraints on connectivity due to the geographic profile of the country.”

Stressing that the Philippines will be very different in 2022, he said, “That I can guarantee and if you can look at the pipeline that we have that’s evidence that definitely there’ll be a different country than what we came in.”

Related Articles


Philippine Resources - February 26, 2021

New Cebu Port Civil Works to Start Q2 2021

The civil works of the new Cebu international container port will start during the second half of 2021.This was revealed during the online 160th Maritime Forum of the Maritime League, Engr. Romel Pagarom, acting manager of CPA’s Planning and Monitoring Division, said that the groundbreaking of the NCICP is scheduled for August 16.The cost of the project is $118 million (roughly P5.9 billion) with around 35 months or approximately 3 years to build it, he said. But of course, there have been a few delays to the project. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2016 gave CPA, with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as its lead implementing agency, the clearance to pursue the project. The construction of the project was supposed to start in 2018 but was pushed back to November 2020. Pagarom also added that they face several issues before proceeding with the civil works - Road-Right-Of-Way (RROW) acquisition which will connect the international port to the main road in Barangay Tayud (the MOA has already been drafted), and the need to work on the working visa of the South Korean consultants. Around P132 million is expected to be downloaded to Consolacion’s coffers if the agreement’s implementation would finally push through.“MOA was forwarded by Legal Service to the Office of the Secretary on January 20, 2021, for Sec. (Arthur) Tugade’s approval prior transfer of funds to the LGU of Consolacion. Thus, the PMU (Project Management Unit) will closely monitor the approval of the MOA and preparation of request for fund transfer of P132 million to LGU Consolacion,” said Pagarom.For the working visa of the consultants, project proponents will be sending out a reiteration letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Last January 20, 2020, DOTr issued the notice of award for the US$5.4-million consultancy services for the NCICP project to South Korea-based Yooshin Engineering Corporation.Some of the features of this new facility include a berthing facility with a 500-meter long quay wall that can host two 2,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels at the same time; operating facilities and structures for containers; a bridge and an access road; and a dredged waterway and turning basin.This will soon serve international cargoes and the current CIP will be transformed into a domestic port to address the decongestion problems.


Philippine Resources - November 03, 2020

SMC Plans to Build LNG Plant

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has plans to build 2,550 megawatts of power facilities using imported liquefied natural gas to hit commercial operations in 2022. According to SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang, the project will be done in three stages at 850MW capacity each. The site is in Batangas, proximate to the existing 1,200MW Ilijan gas-fired power facility, and SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation is the subsidiary that advances this project to implementation. The plan is to offer its capacity in an exercise that power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) undertakes on its competitive selection process (CSP) for new power supply agreements. “The power generation group of San Miguel, we are now switching to LNG. We intend to build three lines of 850MW, so that’s 2,550MW,” Ang said. He added that the development blueprint is set for the targeted commercial operation date of the initial 850MW by 2022 - the timeframe when imported LNG begins to flow into the country. Ang said that SMC will have its own floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) to supply LNG to its own gas plants – and exploratory discussions with Batangas-headquartered engineering and gas firm AG&P are now being conducted. “All of that can be up and running in two years,” Ang said. “In 24 months, that plant will be up and running. Whether we win the Meralco bid or not, we will construct the first line of 850MW.” Ang said that the alternative off-takers could be the electric cooperatives, specifically those operating in the grids of Luzon and Visayas. According to him, the longer-term goal will double their capacity to 5,000MW, which can depend on the electricity demand gains. Ang also indicated that SMC is eyeing to replace their old coal plants with LNG-fed generating facilities, so that forced outages could be minimized.


Philippine Resources - November 10, 2020

DOE Issues Certifications to Energy Projects

The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued P37.553 billion Batangas Clean Energy Inc. project of billionaire Lucio Tan and its American firm partner Gen X Energy certifications as “energy project of national significance” or EPNS that entitles them to the streamlined process of permitting. As an EPNS venture, the qualified projects are afforded a 30-day approval process on their permits as sanctioned under Executive Order No. 30 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017. In addition, DOE specified that the EPNS certifications for the Batangas Clean Energy LNG import facility and the proposed combined cycle power plant projects had been given separately. The 3.0 mtpa onshore LNG import terminal will be sited close to the distilleries of the Tan group — Tanduay and Asia Brewery — at Pinamucan Ibaba in Batangas City. Once this project finishes in 2025, the LNG facility provides fuel to 1,100 megawatts of gas-fired power generating facilities that cater to the future energy needs of the distilleries, and the JG Summit petrochemical complex of the Gokongwei group in Batangas. The company also eyes selling the capacity to Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distribution firm – and that could be concretized if the Tan-led LNG firm is joining the competitive selection process (CSP). The floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) import facility of Texas-headquartered firm Excelerate Energy is another EPNS-certified LNG project, which is targeted to be the first player to bring LNG into the Philippines in the second quarter of 2022. Furthermore, the project design of Excelerate Energy permits third party access (TPA) on its LNG import facility and caters to multiple buyers of gas. Aside from these LNG facilities, the DOE also gave CEPNS to the Bacon-Manito geothermal expansion project of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that has additional 49MW into its portfolio. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “We need to think of how we can ride this LNG wave, to ensure that we can safeguard our energy security. “We’ve started doing just that in the Philippines. We’ve started with the rollout of the Batangas LNG terminal by 2020 to safeguard against the anticipated depletion of the Malampaya gas facility by 2024.”

Place your Ad Here!

Recent Articles


Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Semirara Mining Expects Profit Recovery This Year

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), a publicly traded integrated energy firm, expect some profit recovery this year, owing to improved coal and power demand and costs. SMPC chairman and CEO Isidro Consunji said at the company's virtual stockholders' meeting that the company's bottom line will boost as the coal and energy markets rebound from last year's historic lows. “To take advantage of the upswing, we will capitalize on our COVID-19 resiliency and adaptation strategy of focusing on our people, finances, and execution skills. However, given our operational headwinds and until our country reaches herd immunity, it is unlikely that we will return to our pre-pandemic profit level this year,” he said. The business ended in 2020 with a combined net income of P3.3 billion, down 66% from P9.6 billion the previous year. Revenues dropped 36.2 per cent to P23.3 billion as coal production, sales, and prices fell, while energy sales fell due to low power rates and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp's (SLPGC) expected and unplanned outages. The coal division of SMPC and the SLPGC plants will be the key drivers of development this year. With remedial steps introduced in Molave North Block 7 (NB7), the coal industry is expected to reach 13 million metric tons, according to SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun. “This year, we expect our coal business to perform better on the back of recovering consumption and prices. The remedial measures we have been implementing since December have also allowed us to steadily normalize production. Now that the water seepage at NB7 has gone down to manageable levels, we expect annual production to hit 13 million metric tons,” she said. Due to excessive water seepages, SMPC postponed mining operations in Molave NB7 in early December, reducing coal output by 13% to 13.2 million metric tons. SLPGC is expected to drive profits in SMPC's power market due to higher sales, but Sem-Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC) is expected to produce poor performance. SCPC is the owner of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas, which it bought from the government in 2009 for $362 million. In the same location, SLPGC operates a 2x150-MW coal power plant. “For this year, we expect uneven results from our power subsidiaries. SLPGC is set to stage a strong profit recovery because of higher plant availability and better spot market prices. Unfortunately, SCPC is likely to deliver disappointing results because of the forced outage of its Unit 2 beginning Dec. 3 last year,” Gotianun said. SCPC's outage was triggered by a seven-month-old generator stator failing. Repairs are currently being negotiated with generator provider GE, according to Gotianun. “While they have agreed to cover the majority of the costs related to fixing the equipment, we are intent on making them shoulder all the necessary expenses. We expect to complete our negotiations within the year,” she said. “In the meantime, we are doing our best to fast track the repair of the generator. If all goes well, Unit 2 can be up and running by the third quarter of this year,” Gotianun said. This year, SMPC will invest P4 billion to rebound from last year's slump. The overall sum will be divided between SCPC and SLPGC for their prevention and repair services, with P2.9 billion going to buy mining and service equipment for the coal industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic placed a burden on the company's liquidity last year, the management agreed to delay P3.7 billion of CAPEX to this year as part of its cash saving steps.


Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Australian Mining Firms Show Interest in the Philippines

According to Australia's Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven Robinson, several Australian mining firms have shown interest in mining in the Philippines, and the recent lifting of a nine-year ban on new mining ventures has paved the way for the possibility of responsible and world-class mining. Robinson said that mining if conducted safely and in accordance with international standards, could help the Philippines recover from the effects of the pandemic's economic impact. “The miners that we already have here—Orica [Philippines], OceanaGold, Red 5 [group], a number of them—are already thinking about what the future holds for them as a result of that ban being lifted,” he said in a virtual briefing on Monday. “They have started to reach out to us just in recent times to express interest in mining across the Philippines. I think that is a very positive step for the Philippines and good for Australian miners here,” he added, when asked to comment on the lifting of the ban. Malacanang recently released Executive Order No. 130, effectively lifting the nine-year ban on new mining deals. The order reversed a clause of then-President Benigno Aquino III's Executive Order No. 79, which was issued in 2012. The EO included a clause prohibiting the issuance of new mining licenses or mining output sharing arrangements unless a new revenue-sharing scheme was established. President Rodrigo Duterte said that the mining tax scheme included in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act had already met the EO's requirements. The TRAIN Act increased the excise on minerals, mining goods, and quarry services from 2% to 4%, lowering personal income taxes while increasing consumption taxes. Duterte previously stated that the country had only used about 5% of its natural wealth. According to the Australian ambassador, this demonstrated that there was something that could be achieved in the world to assist in its economic recovery. “The Philippines is a natural resource-rich country, and there’s much that could be done here that will really benefit the Philippines’ recovery, and Australian firms know that,” Robinson said. 


Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

AC Energy Focuses on 12GW of Renewable Energy Projects

AC Energy (ACEN) is operating on approximately 12 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy (RE) projects, more than double its goal of five GW for 2025, as it strives to become Southeast Asia's largest listed RE network. At COL Financial's briefing, ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said the 12GW of projects placed the Ayala-led company in a fantastic position to achieve its long-term goals. Solar and wind platforms will make up the majority of the projects it plans to begin in 2021. With 5,200 megawatts (MW), Australia leads the way, followed by the Philippines with 3,400MW, Vietnam with 2,400MW, and India and other Asia-Pacific countries with 900MW. 1,000MW of the 12GW projects in the pipeline are expected to reach financial close in the next six to twelve months, bringing the company more than halfway to its target. By the end of the year, ACEN hopes to obtain regulatory clearance for the influx of foreign funds. The Ayala Group's power arm is maintaining a follow-on offering (FOO) until Friday, with shares priced at Php6.50 per share. “We are grateful for the continued support of our regulators and for the overwhelming response we received from the institutional investors during the book-building process. The exceptional investor support reinforces AC Energy’s position as the region’s leading renewables platform,” Francia said in a statement disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The FOO is part of a five-step effort by the company to generate Php30 billion for clean energy programs this year. “The FOO completes the company’s successful fundraising efforts this year and allows it to play a meaningful role in the green-led recovery,” Francia added.

Join the Philippines'

Mining and Construction Community

Be the "First" to get our exclusive Digital Magazine & Newsletter.