Spanish, Filipino and South Korean contractors have won civil engineering contracts worth $728m to build initial elements of the 51km Malolos-Clark Railway, part of the Philippines’ long-term plan to boost connectivity and regional economic growth.
The railway will link Clark International Airport and the planned economic zone of New Clark City, which are around 80km northwest of the capital Manila, to the city of Malolos, which lies about 40km northwest of Manilla.
The first contract was awarded to a joint venture between Acciona of Spain and Manila-based EEI Corporation to build about 6.3km of track, 1.6km of depot access rail, and an underground railway station at Clark International Airport.
A second contract was secured by Posco Engineering and Construction of South Korea.
Posco will erect a 33ha depot and a railway operations control centre in Mabalacat, a city lying adjacent to the airport.
Three more civils contracts for the project are set to be awarded later this year.
The Malolos-Clark Railway is part of the planned $6.1bn, 163km North-South Commuter Railway project that will continue southeast from Malolos, through Manila, to Calamba by 2025.
This will cut the travel time between Clark and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tons annually, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is co-funding the project with Japan International Cooperation Agency.Â
The railway is also expected to ease road congestion in Manila and nearby provinces, which the ADB said had an economic cost of $18bn in Metro Manila alone.
Oriental Consultants Global, a company based in Japan, won a contract to provide detailed designs for Malolos-Clark in May 2018.
ADB said the entire project would create 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years and 14,000 more jobs related to the railway’s operation.
Image: ADB’s rendering of the railway