The Department of Transportation (DOTr) stated on Tuesday that it had inked the single largest rail contract in history, worth P142 billion, for the Philippine National Railway (PNR) Bicol project.
According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, the contract inked on Monday covers the first 380 kilometers between Banlic, Calamba, and Daraga, Albay.
For the design, construction, and electromechanical works on the project, a Design-Build contract was signed with the Joint Venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co., Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co., Ltd. (CREC JV).
CREC JV, which is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, was placed 35th on the Fortune Global 500 list and 5th among China’s top 500 firms in 2021.
The first 380 kilometers of PNR Bicol, from Banlic in Calamba to Daraga in Albay, will pass through 39 cities and municipalities, four provinces, and two regions.
In San Pablo, Laguna, it will entail the building of 23 stations, 230 bridges, ten passenger tunnels, and a 70-hectare depot.
PNR Bicol will include a 565-kilometer railway connecting Metro Manila to the southern Luzon provinces of Sorsogon and Batangas, as well as future segments.
When fully operating, the railway will reduce travel time between Metro Manila and Bicol from 12 hours to as little as 4 hours.
Passenger trains will be able to travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, but freight trains will only be able to travel at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. The project is estimated to produce more than 5,000 direct employment each year during construction.