A Korean construction company and its joint venture partner are set to start constructing its section of the Malolos-Clark Railway project in December, after bagging the P33.7-billion contract from the Duterte administration earlier this month.
Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd., one of the largest builders in South Korea, and Acciona Construction Philippines will construct a section of the railway, covering 16 kilometers in the towns of Minalin, Sto. Tomas and the City of San Fernando in Pampanga. Construction will take four years.
This marks the first infrastructure project that the Korean group won in a competitive bidding here in the Philippines, a top official of its local unit said, although the company had already done several energy projects since it first set shop in the country in 1995.
“Daelim is [a] well-known construction company in Korea,” said Sangsik Shim, general manager of Daelim Philippines Inc., in an e-mail to the Inquirer this week. “Unfortunately, we did not have more chances [other] than [in the] oil, gas and power plant sector.”
The contract was one of the three signed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) under the same railway project last Oct. 8, as the Duterte administration continued to pursue its infrastructure ambitions despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. All three contracts were worth P85 billion.
Their section forms a stretch of the Malolos-Clark Railway project, which in total covers 54 km and will feature a so-called airport express service since it will create a railway link between Metro Manila and Clark International Airport in Pampanga by 2025.
The DOTr has targeted to start partial operations of the project by 2023 and its completion in five years.
The Malolos-Clark Railway project is a key phase of the 148-km North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) System in Luzon.
The NSCR, which is being financed with loans from the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, will eventually have 37 stations cross 26 cities and municipalities in Luzon.
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