ADB prepares funding support for PNR Calamba

Published July 26, 2021, 11:04 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing its funding support for the P345-billion Philippine National Railways’ (PNR) Calamba project.

In a statement, the Manila-based multilateral financial institution said that funding for the 40.5 kilometer viaduct structures of PNR Calamba, also called South Commuter Railway Project, is up for “consideration” by the ADB Board in the fourth-quarter.

“We are pleased to partner with the Philippine government in this transformative project that will have substantial multiplier effects on the economy and regional development,” Kelly Bird, ADB Philippines country director said Monday, July 26.

PNR-Calamba is a key component of the 147-kilometer North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system that aims to cut travel time from Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Calamba City from more than four hours to just 1.5 hours.

The NSCR system is expected to carry up to one million passengers daily.

Last July 14 to 15, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) held the submission and opening of bids for the civil work contracts that include elevated stations, viaduct structures, and a 22-hectare train depot for PNR Calamba.

A record 34 bids from 23 local and international engineering and construction companies vied for contract packages, DOTr said.

Six local players participated in the bidding that include D.M. Consunji Inc., EEI Corp., First Balfour Inc., Megawide Construction Corp., Prime Metro BMD Corp. and Santa Clara International Corp.

Seventeen foreign companies, meanwhile, submitted bids. These include Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Construction Co., Spain’s Acciona S.A. and China Construction First Group Corp.

Moreover, Chun Wo Construction (Hongkong), Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd. (Hongkong), DL Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Dong-ah Geological Engineering Co. Ltd. (South Korea), and GS Engineering and Construction Corp. (South Korea) also participated.

In addition, Lotte Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. (South Korea), POSCO Engineering and Construction (South Korea), and Samsung Construction and Trading Corp. (South Korea).

The remaining foreign bidders were PT Adhi Karya (Persero) Tbk (Indonesia), PT PP (Persero) Tbk (Indonesia), PT Wijaya Karya (Persero) Tbk (Indonesia), Gülermak Ağır Sanayi İnşaat ve Taahhüt A.Ş. (Turkey) and Italian-Thai Development Public Company Ltd. (Thailand).

“We congratulate the DOTr and the PNR on the successful bidding turnout, which reflects robust local and global interest and confidence in the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build infrastructure development program and for a strong post-pandemic economic recovery,” Bird said.

PNR Calamba is included in ADB’s country operations business plan for the Philippines.

It is also linked to another ADB-funded railway, the Malolos-Clark Railway that features the country’s first airport express train, with the railway connecting to Clark International Airport.