Politics

Spain’s Acciona keen on more railway projects in the Philippines

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SPANISH infrastructure company Acciona said it hopes to get more contracts from the government’s railway projects, including the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR).

“We are waiting for the final result of the bidding for package 2 of the south line extension,” Joselito Manzo, business development manager at Acciona, told BusinessWorld recently.

The project is part of the 54.6-kilometer (km) South Commuter Railway that will connect Manila to Calamba, Laguna.

The South Commuter Railway is part of the NSCR urban rail transit system from Calamba to Clark in Central Luzon. It is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

According to the ADB, package 2 of the South Commuter Railway covers the building and civil engineering works for approximately 7.9 km of railway viaduct structure including elevated stations in España, Sta. Mesa and Paco, Manila.

In 2020, Acciona announced that it had won a $656-million contract to build a second section of the railway line from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark International Airport in Pampanga. The 53-km Malolos-Clark railway is also part of the NSCR project.

Acciona said it opened an office in Manila in April 2019 and has been operating in the Philippines since 2016, when it was awarded the contract to design, construct, operate, and maintain the Putatan II water treatment plant.

The company was also involved in the development of the Cebu-Cordova cable-stayed bridge, which connects Cebu City and Mactan International Airport.

The government signed in October the first four civil work contracts worth $1.87 billion for the South Commuter Railway.

The contracts involve the construction of 31.5 km of railway viaducts, nine elevated stations, and a railway depot covering the Muntinlupa to Calamba segment of the rail system.

The South Korean joint venture of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-Ah Geological Engineering Co. Ltd. inked three contracts for an 8.5-km railway viaduct, including elevated stations in Alabang, Muntinlupa; a 12.8-km railway viaduct structure, including elevated stations in San Pedro, Pacita, Biñan and Santa Rosa; and a 10.28-km railway viaduct as well as elevated stations in Cabuyao, Banlic and Calamba.

The joint venture of South Korea’s Lotte Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., Turkey’s Gulermak Agir Sanayi Insaat ve Taahhut AS and the Philippines’ EEI Corp signed the contract to build a depot and 0.5-km road.

The South Commuter Railway project will include 18 stations.

Once completed, the railway will accommodate 340,000 passengers daily, helping ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. — Arjay L. Balinbin