THE construction of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark railway) project’s 6.5-kilometer railway track, an underground station at Clark International Airport, and a depot is set to start within the quarter, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.
“The milestone of this project is running at great speed, from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approval in 2018 to the signing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan agreement in July 2019 until its contract signing today. The PNR Phase 2 is one of ADB’s fastest large-scale projects,” Mr. Tugade said during the virtual contract signing for the two contract packages of the Malolos-Clark Railway project Saturday.
He added: “In fact, based on the projected timeline for the implementation of this project, the target start of the project construction will be in the third quarter of this year.”
One of the contracts signed was Contract Package 4 of the PNR Clark Phase 2 for civil engineering and building works covering approximately 6.3 kilometers of the main line, and 1.6 kilometers of the depot’s access line, with one underground station serving Clark International Airport.
The successful bidder for this package was a joint venture between Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines, Inc. and EEI Corp.
Contract Package 5 covering the civil engineering and building works for the Clark Railway Depot was also signed. This package covers 33 hectares, including construction of the operations control center, stabling yard, workshops, training center and other ancillary buildings in Mabalacat, Pampanga, the Transportation department said in a statement. The contract was awarded to South Korea’s POSCO Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd.
The two civil works contracts cost nearly P38 billion or $728 million and will be financed by the ADB and co-financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
ADB said JICA will provide “up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.”
The flagship Malolos-Clark railway project is part of the 163-kilometer North South Commuter Railway project.
The ADB said the rail line “will ease road congestion in the capital and nearby provinces and reduce annual traffic-related economic costs, which total $18 billion in Metro Manila alone. It will help push economic activity to regional growth centers like Clark in Pampanga province.”
“The project will cut the travel time between Clark and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tons annually,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin