Philippines’ Megawide, Korean firms to build 17-km railway project

23, Sep. 2020

A rendering of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project(Photo courtesy of Japan International Cooperation Agency)
A rendering of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project(Photo courtesy of Japan International Cooperation Agency)

MANILA, NNA - Philippine engineering and infrastructure conglomerate Megawide Construction Corp. and its Korean partners secured a contract to build a 17-kilometer segment of the Malolos-Clark railway project.

Megawide said it will undertake the 28-billion-peso ($577.1 million) project with Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Co.

The consortium will build and provide civil engineering work for the project’s viaduct structure to link the Malolos suburb in Bulacan province to the regional center of Clark in Pampanga, including elevated stations in Bulacan and Pampanga.

“Not only will this project, once totally completed, spur growth in Central Luzon, it will also increase connectivity and unlock exciting commercial opportunities between Metro Manila and Clark,” Edgar Saavedra, Chairman and CEO of Megawide, said in a statement on Sunday.

Megawide said the project will boost revenue from its construction segment in the next three to four years.

The Malolos-Clark Railway Project is the second phase of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) under the government’s flagship infrastructure program called “Build, Build, Build.” NSCR is a 163 km suburban railway network to connect the regional center of Clark in Central Luzon with Metro Manila and Calamba, Laguna. The project is expected to accommodate up to one million passengers daily by 2040.

Construction giant D.M. Consunji Inc. and its Japanese partner Taisei Corp. are building the first phase of the NSCR which began in 2019.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the financing of up to $2.75 billion for the construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, which is expected to reduce annual traffic-related economic costs of $18 billion in Metro Manila alone.

ADB said the project will help spur economic activity in regional centers like Clark. The railway is expected to be operational by 2024 or 2025, and will halve travel time from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport to about one hour.

The Philippines has been banking on its infrastructure flagship program to help spur its pandemic-hit economy.

The government said the “Build, Build, Build” program would help create thousands of jobs for many Filipinos who became unemployed this year as a result of the strict lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.