Chinese joint venture wins project management role for $1.6bn Philippines’ railway

The Philippines’ Department of Transport announced this week that a joint venture between China Railway Design and Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision had been picked to project manage the $1.6bn first phase of a rail scheme on the island of Mindanao.

The Mindanao line, the first rail project in the Philippines outside the main island of Luzon, will be a 102km line running along the southeast coast of the island, linking Tagum City, Davao City, the capital, and Digos City.

The $60m contract covers a range of services, from detailed design to revenue projection, for the project, and will run for more than two-and-a-half years.

The winning team beat two other Chinese consultancies to the contract: China Railway Liuyuan Group and China Communications Railway Consultants Group.

The design-and-build construction work will be picked from a China-only shortlist of contractors. Those in the running are China Railway International Group, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, China State Construction Engineering and China Communications Construction Company. All are state-owned enterprises.

The government hopes to have the line enter service by June 2023. Later phases will extend it to a 1,530km circuit of the island, which is the second largest in the Philippines archipelago.

China Railway Design, formerly known as the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation is based in Tianjin and is a subsidiary of China State Railway Group. It is a major player in China’s domestic market, having designed more than 11,000km of high-speed track.

n 2007, the company successfully opening up the international contracting engineering supervision market, and the Cambodian Public and Transport Ministry signed a national two-way two bridges project supervision consultant contracts with us. So far our international contracting engineer business has been involved in in Cambodia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other countries and regions.

Guangzhou Wanan is a consulting engineer founded in 1995. As well as the domestic market, it has worked in Cambodia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

In 2018, another joint venture between the two won a $285m contract to project manage the 639km Philippine National Railways South Long-Haul Project.

Image: A Philippine government rendering of the Mindanao railway in operation

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