Nippon Koei to design “smart city” infrastructure in greater Manila

01, Oct. 2019

Clark International Airport, shown in a photo taken in Pampanga Province in August, and its environs are expected to merge into a new economic zone.
Clark International Airport, shown in a photo taken in Pampanga Province in August, and its environs are expected to merge into a new economic zone.

MANILA, NNA – Major Japanese engineering firm Nippon Koei Co. will provide infrastructural design for New Clark City, a new “smart city” under construction in the greater Manila area, which is expected to alleviate the Philippine capital’s traffic, population and other growing urban problems.

Nippon Koei has won an order to update the master plan and design infrastructure, including roads, electric power, water supply and sewerage, related to the New Clark City project over a period of 16 months, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Friday. A Nippon Koei spokeswoman said the order is valued at 800 million yen ($7.4 million) and the company has already begun the work in September.

The national project to develop a smart city – an urban community that is sustainable and eco-friendly with the use of information technologies – on a 9,450-hectare plot at a former U.S. military base site has been undertaken by Philippine Japan Initiative for CGC Inc., which is jointly sponsored by the Philippine Base Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN). Nippon Koei received the order from the joint entity. For Nippon Koei, this will be its second large-scale overseas project related to smart-city development following one in India, the statement said.

New Clark City is located in the province of Tarlac and it is partly named after the former U.S. Clark Air Base, a widely known landmark located in the neighboring province of Pampanga.

In the New Clark City project, Nippon Koei and its group company, Philkoei International Inc., will undertake smart-city development on a 3,600-hectare area through three stages including topographic surveys, master plan updates and infrastructure design, the statement said.

Other Japanese companies have also been involved in the project. Trading house Marubeni Corp., Kansai Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co. announced in April they will join Manila Electric Co. (Melarco) in the project’s next-generation smart-grid business.

Metro Manila has been struggling to improve its urban functions as infrastructural development has been outpaced by economic growth there with chronic traffic congestion and the influx of people. The national government aims to create a new city with a residential population of 1.2 million and 800,000 jobs by 2065 by relocating government facilities and building high-speed railways, the statement said.

Access to New Clark City from Japan has been improving as new flights were inaugurated in August between Clark International Airport and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, in addition to the existing flights between Clark and Kansai International Airport. The North-South Commuter Railway Project connecting Metro Manila with the Clark International Airport area, which has been developed with assistance from the Japanese government, is expected to be partly opened in 2021.

Local companies have been active in developing businesses in New Clark City. The major developer Filinvest Land Inc. has been authorized by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to develop an economic district there with a tax break.