The Department of Transportation ( DOTr) virtually accepted the first two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to be delivered early next year for the P355.6 billion Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP).
The TBMs, worth P800 million to P1 billion, which had been factory- tested a day earlier, will be the first two of the 25 TBMs worth P10 billion to P12.5 billion to be used for excavating the 34-kilometer long tunnel of the Metro Manila Subway.
The first TBM will be delivered from the JIM Technologies factory in Yokohama, Japan to the Philippines in January, 2021.
This will be followed by the second in February. Tunneling work on the subway can start immediately.
Each TBM is capable of excavating 20 to 30 meters through the adobe strata where the subway will run through, depending on the project requirements.
The DOTr wants to fast-track the project so the subway can be partially operational by December, 2021, instead of the original target date of February, 2022, according to Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.
The partial operations will be for its first three stations from Valenzuela – Mindanao Avenue Station, Tandang Sora Station, and North Avenue Station, while the entire rail line will be fully operational by 2025.
It has to start from Valenzuela because the depot, the first station and the Philippine Railway Institute are all there , Tugade emphasized.
The underground rail line is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations, with a design capacity that can accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers per day.
Guided by Japan’s expertise in railways, the Metro Manila Subway will feature technological advancements and disaster-resilient strategies aimed to boost the Subway’s structural integrity amid regular occurrence of typhoons and earthquakes. It will also be safe from flooding.
Last year, the DOTr signed the contract for the design and build of the subway’s Partial Operability Section with the Joint Venture of Shimizu Corporation, Fujita Corporation, Takenaka Civil Engineering Co., Ltd., and EEI Corporation.