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P24.4-B loan to finance LRT-1 Cavite extension

Posted on February 12, 2016 07:45:00 PM []
By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter
THE CONSORTIUM of the Ayala, Metro Pacific, and Macquarie groups is obtaining a P24.4-billion loan from three local banks to finance the rehabilitation and Cavite extension of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1.

Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), the consortium, also signed an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) deal with French contractors Bouyges Travaux Publics and Alstom Transport, worth a combined €450 million.

“LRMC signed the 15-year Omnibus Loan and Security Agreement with Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, Security Bank Corporation, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation...,” the group said in a statement on Friday.

Broken down, P15.3 billion will go the Cavite extension, and P8.7 billion, to the rehabilitation of the existing train line.

LRMC -- owned by Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) -- bagged last September the P64.9-billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension public-private partnership project. It took over the train’s operation and maintenance last Sept. 12.

The group aims to start construction of the 11.7-kilometer (km) extension by the “second half of the year,” LRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Jesus P. Francisco told a media briefing on Friday, at the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati.

Completion in four years is targeted.

For the EPC deal, “the contract is worth around €450 million, including approximately €160 million for Alstom,” the latter said in a separate statement on Friday.

“Alstom will provide an integrated metro solution which includes signaling and communication system, traction power supply, and track work on the 12-km extended line including one new depot and the extension of the existing depot,” the contractor said.

“Alstom will also equip Atlas 100 on-board signaling solution for 60 trains and revamp signaling system for existing 20-km line.”

Meanwhile, Bouygues Travaux Publics will provide the railway infrastructure for the Cavite Extension.

“[It] is known globally for complex projects involving tunnels, engineering structures and road, port and rail infrastructure, most recent of which were the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Port of Miami Tunnel and the Nimes-Montpellier rail bypass in France,” LRMC said.

The government is procuring 120 new light rail vehicles that will arrive in two batches by 2017 and 2018.

LRMC said the train’s travel speed can increase to 60 km per second from the current 40 kmps once the new trains arrive, boosting passenger volume.

The train line carries an average of 400,000 passengers daily, according to Mr. Francisco.

The Cavite extension will connect Baclaran Station, the current end station at the South, to Niyog, Cavite.

Eight new stations will be built: Aseana, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Piñas, Zapote, and Niyog.

“The new stations will be accessible to and from nearby community facilities such as shops, schools, stadium, park, etc., and be located to suit passenger flow routes from residential areas,” LRMC said.

The group will also tap property giant Ayala Corp. to provide retail establishments around the stations.

“Pedestrian access to all new stations will be direct, safe, and easy. Details such as lighting to distinguish access points, pedestrian cross striping, and curb cuts for handicapped access will be provided,” the group said.

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