DOTr signs P38B civil works contract for Malolos-Clark railways


    The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has signed two contracts worth P38 billion for the construction of the railway depot and mainline station of the Malolos to Clark railway project.

    The first contract package was awarded to Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines and EEI Corp. worth P21.4 billion for the civil works for 6.3 kilometers (km.) of the main line and 1.6 km. of the depot’s access line, with one underground station serving Clark International Airport.

    The second contract worth P16.5 billion was awarded to Korea’s POSCO Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. for civil works for 33 hectares covering the Clark railway depot including construction of the operations control center, stabling yard, workshops, training center and other ancillary buildings in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

    The two contracts for the Malolos to Clark railway project, also called Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2, were signed during a virtual ceremony on August 1, 2020. PNR Clark Phase 2 is one of the segments of the massive North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

    Timothy John Batan, DOTr undersecretary for railways, said during the ceremony the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will finance the civil works for Malolos to Clark and Manila to Calamba stations through multi-tranche financing facilities with estimated amounts of $2.75 billion and $4.25 billion, respectively.

    The two largest lending commitments of ADB for the project loan have a tenure of 30 years and include a seven-year grace period.

    Ramesh Subramaniam, ADB Southeast Asia director general, asserted ADB’s full commitment to the country’s “Build, Build, Build” program, and to its partnership with the DOTr in realizing various transport infrastructure projects such as the Metro Rail Transit line 4, EDSA Greenways and the NSCR project, among others.

    “I would like to reiterate the ADB’s strongest commitment to the Philippines’ ‘Build, Build, Build’ Infrastructure Program, and our strong partnership, particularly with the Department of Transportation,” Subramaniam said.

    The 53-km. PNR Clark Phase 2, once partially operable by 2022, will reduce travel time between Malolos, Bulacan and Clark International Airport to 30-35 minutes, from the original 1 hour and 30 minutes. The leg will also feature the country’s first airport rail express.

    In a related development, Clark International Airport’s new passenger terminal is on track to be fully operational by January 2021, with the building shell already 99.52 percent complete.

    A joint project of the DOTr and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the new and iconic terminal is designed to triple the airport’s annual passenger capacity from the present four million to 12 million.

    The consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd. built the structure of the terminal, while the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. will handle airport operations.

    The Clark International Airport New Passenger Terminal is a flagship project under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.

    “We are excited to see this project open in five months. Clark’s new and modern terminal will not only enhance connectivity and improve passenger experience, it will also further boost economic growth in the region,” said Vince Dizon, BCDA president and chief executive officer.