Clark railway lures big firms
Infrastructure and construction giants from Europe and Asia are vying to build the country’s first “airport express” railway line that will link Manila and Clark in Pampanga province, in line with the Duterte administration’s goal to decongest the capital.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday that companies from Indonesia, Japan, Spain, South Korea, Thailand as well local builders submitted bids for three contract packages under the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2.
PNR Clark Phase 2 is a 53-kilometer railway line that will run from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark in Pampanga, whose Clark International Airport is being expanded. It will extend the ongoing PNR Clark Phase 1, which will run from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos.
Once finished in 2022, travel time between Buendia in Makati and Clark airport will be cut from more than two hours to about 55 minutes, the DOTr said. The railway line will be designed to serve 340,000 passengers a day.
The DOTr said companies that submitted bids for the packages under PNR Clark Phase 2 were Spain’s Acciona, Korean firms Daelim, Dong Ah Construction and Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Filipino builders EEI Corp. and Megawide Construction Corp., Thailand’s Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd., Indonesian firms PT Pembangunan Perumahan and PT Waskita Karya Tbk and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd.
“We are very happy with the turnout of bidders for PNR Clark Phase 2,” PNR General Manager Junn Magno said in a statement. “This is indeed a vote of confidence that we are doing things the right way and soon, our countrymen will reap the benefits through improved mobility and connectivity.”
According to the DOTr, package one will cover 17 km and cover the Calumpit and Apalit stations, while package two will span 16 km and include the San Fernando station. It said package three will cover 12 km encompassing Angeles and Clark stations.
PNR Clark Phase 2 is part of the P777.55-billion North-South Commuter Railway, one of the DOTr’s biggest infrastructure projects. The 147-km network will be financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Bid submissions for package four (8 km with Clark Airport Station) and package five (Clark Depot) are slated on Oct. 14 this year, the DOTr said.
By next month, the department will bid out contracts for 304 commuter train cars, 56 airport express train cars and electromechanical systems. Moreover, bid submission for PNR Calamba Package 1 is on Nov. 5 this year, the DOTr said.
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