Groundworks in preparation for the arrival of a tunnel boring machine this December will begin within the next few months. The aim is for the project to be in operation by 2025.
Mayor Mar-len Abigail Binay, Philippine Infradev Holdings chair Ren Jinhua and Infradev president and chief executive officer Antonio Lee Tiu joined other other officials from the public and private sectors to sign the agreement for the ‘MkTr’ line.
The project will connect key points around the business district. Binay said that the line will have 10 stations, be 10km long and take 10 minutes to travel. So, from one end to another, the trip should only take you 10 minutes,” she said.
Tiu dubbed the project as the largest public-private partnership (PPP) project ever undertaken by a local government uni. “This is the first time that a local government has undertaken this large-scale PPP project. This is the biggest PPP project to-date and this is one of the biggest foreign investment projects to date,” he said.
The project has a total projected cost of US$3.5bn but Tiu said that the actual cost may be lower using technology from its Chinese partner. “Right now, there are signs that we can generate some savings out of using the Chinese technology,” he said.
The city government will have a hand on running the subway from its construction to its operation. “This is a joint venture agreement; this is not a build-operate transfer so the city will always be a part of this project,” said Binay.