P24-B loan OKd for LRT-1 extension
The private sector group operating the Light Rail Transit Line 1 in Metro Manila has secured funding to partly finance the extension of the elevated train to Cavite province, as well as an ongoing rehabilitation program.
Light Rail Manila Corp., backed by Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., said yesterday it had signed a P24 billion loan facility with local banks. The bigger portion of the loan, or P15.3 billion, will be used for LRT-1’s 11.7-kilometer expansion to Bacoor, Cavite. The extension project is expected to be finished in 2020.
Light Rail Manila said the 15-year omnibus loan and security agreement was signed with Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Security Bank Corp. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
It said P8.7 billion of the amount would be used for the two-year rehabilitation program of LRT-1, which was Southeast Asia’s oldest metro rail system.
“These milestone agreements give us significant headway toward the construction and commissioning of the much-awaited Cavite Extension which will benefit an additional 300,000 passengers from four big cities in southern Manila,” Light Rail Manila president and CEO Jesus Francisco said.
On Friday, the company also sealed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with contractors Bouyges Travaux Publics and Alstom Transport.
Depending on when the transportation department can deliver the right of way for the project, Light Rail Manila said it was hoping to start construction within the second half of 2016.
“With 16 million inhabitants in Manila and only three metro lines, it was necessary to alleviate congestion and reduce travel time of commuters. In 20 years, the LRT-1 line— which is serving 20 stations along its 20-km route—has experienced an increase in its daily ridership from some 400,000 to 500,000,” Alstom said in a separate statement.
“Once the extension is completed, LRT-line 1 will carry about 800,000 passengers per day,” it said.
Light Rail Manila said this will consist of elevated guideways throughout the majority of the alignment, except for the guideway section at Zapote which will be located at grade and consisting of the Satellite Depot and New Station.
Bouygues Travaux Publics, which will provide the railway infrastructure for the Cavite Extension, is known globally for complex projects involving tunnels, engineering structures and road, port and rail infrastructure.