Chinese investment fund joins $3.7-B Makati subway project
BEIJING — A Shanghai-based investment fund would infuse equity in the subway project of the Makati City government and Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. — one of several Chinese firms that will help bankroll and build the $3.7-billion mass transit system of the country’s financial capital.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, MingTu Investment Holdings chair Ni Xiaohong said his firm had recently received the green light from China’s Ministry of Commerce to invest $100 million in the Makati subway project that will break ground this year.
“In China, investing capital abroad is tightly regulated, and we are the first private company that has been given approval to invest in this infrastructure project,” he said through an interpreter. “So we are a pioneer here.”
MingTu Investments had previously help fund the construction of the Jiangyin Yangtze bridge, which, after its completion in 1999, was the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest in China. It also has equity in Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Co., one of China’s largest shipbuilders.
“We believe in the potential of the Makati subway project, the potential of the local market, and in the ability of our partners to complete it and make it work,” Ni told members of the Philippine media in Beijing.
Other Chinese firms that will be part of the subway consortium are China Rail Construction Corp.’s subsidiary China Civil Engineering Construction Corp.; Greenland Holdings subsidiary Jiangsu Changjiang Investments; and Kwang On Holdings.
Philippine Infradev Holdings president and CEO Antonio Tiu told the Inquirer that, all told, the equity participation of Chinese firms in the subway consortium will amount to 35 percent of the joint venture firm, with the balance shared by the Makati City government and Philippine Infradev.
At present, soil testing is already being conducted on the proposed subway route ahead of the project’s actual construction later this year.
The six-month geo-testing involves boring small holes and getting soil and rock samples for analysis from at least 200 points along the proposed subway alignment. The process will last for six months and is part of preliminary works prior to official groundbreaking.
The subway will connect key points in Makati such as the current Central Business District along Ayala Avenue, the Makati City Hall, the Poblacion Heritage Site, the University of Makati, Ospital ng Makati and the other new business districts within the city.
The proposed dual track subway system will have up to 10 air-conditioned, underground stations that can accommodate up to six car trains, with a room for over 200 passengers per car. Over 700,000 passengers per day will be accommodated and served by the proposed mass transport system.
During the construction phase, the project is expected to generate more than 6,000 jobs. /kga
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