The Philippines’ Department of Transportation (DOTr) has awarded two civil works contracts, worth around PHP38bn ($728m) in total, for the $6.1bn Malolos–Clark Railway Project.
The railway project, which secured a $1.3bn loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last year, forms part of the 163km North-South Commuter Railway Project.
The Malolos–Clark Railway Project involves the construction of 53.1km-long railway line connecting Malolos to Clark economic zone and Clark International Airport (CIA) in central Luzon, Philippines.
DOTr awarded the first contract to the Acciona Construction Philippines and EEI Corporation joint venture (JV) for the construction of 6.3km-long main railway lines and 1.6km of the depot access line.
The scope of the contract also includes the construction of an underground railway station at Clark International Airport.
In a press statement, Acciona said: “The project will cut the travel time between Clark and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tons a year.”
The second contract was awarded to POSCO Engineering and Construction to build a 33ha depot, as well as a railway operations control centre in Mabalacat.
The DOTr is expected to award three more civil works contracts later this year.
Scheduled for completion by 2024, the project aims to ease road congestion while reducing annual traffic-related economic costs.
In addition to creating about 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years, the project will create 14,000 jobs once operational.
ADB South-East Asia director general Ramesh Subramaniam said: “When the entire North-South Commuter Railway system is operational, we expect up to one million passengers will ride the train daily on this modern, safe, and efficient system by 2040.”