CORRECTED-Seven groups vie for $430 million Philippine airport project
(Corrects to say groups submitted qualifying documents, not bids)
MANILA, April 22 (Reuters) - Seven groups, including foreign firms, have submitted qualification documents ahead of formal bids for a new $430 million passenger terminal project at the Philippines' international airport in central Cebu province, the transportation agency said on Monday.
Potential bidders include the GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium; AAA Airport Partners; the Filinvest Land Inc and CAI Consortium; and the Metro Pacific Investments- JG Summit Airport Consortium.
San Miguel Corp, which was recently named as the preferred bidder for a 15.5 billion peso ($377.40 million) Manila airport expressway, also participated in the first round of bids for the Mactan-Cebu facility together with Incheon Airport Co.
Other firms submitting prequalifying documents were the First Philippine Holdings Corp Infratil Asia Ltd group; and Premier Airport Group of SM Investments Corp.
The Mactan-Cebu facility, one of the government's priority infrastructure projects under its public-private partnership programme (PPP), is the second-busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic.
It is a major gateway to central and southern Philippine provinces. About 6.8 million passengers used it last year, above its 4.5 million annual capacity, so a successful deal will help boost tourism in the country.
The project involves the right to build a new terminal with an annual capacity of 8 million passengers, rehabilitate the old terminal and operate the entire airport facility.
Manila is expected to issue a list of qualified bidders after 20 days.
The Philippines has been seeking local and foreign investors in PPP projects aimed at improving the country's roads, ports, airports and other infrastructure to spur more economic activity and propel growth above 7 percent.
($1 = 41.0700 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Matt Driskill)