Construction on the $6.8bn Metro Manila Subway in the Philippines will commence on 27 February 2019 and as part of the preparatory work, officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), led by Secretary Arthur Tugade, inspected the tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) in Japan.
Tugade inspected the TBMs at the Tsurumi Factory of JIM Technology (JIMT) in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo.
JIMT is one of the major manufacturers of TBMs in Japan.
Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, Philippine National Railways (PNR) general manager Junn Magno, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines chief representative Yoshio Wada accompanied Tugade during the visit.
The DOTr Secretary said: “The Metro Manila Subway is the Philippines’ first-ever underground railway system. Before, people cast doubts and said it is all but a dream. But, on February 27, we will show them that this is real.”
Tugade and other officials also inspected TBMs manufactured by Hitachi Zosen in Sakai City, Osaka.
Hitachi Zosen’s Sakai Works (HZSW) factory has already manufactured 1,300 TBMs and has a track record of 130 tunnels overseas.
HZSW also showcased its Neo RISE technology, a sea wall that rises automatically without any engine power and without human operation, to protect any structure from incoming floodwater.
The DoTr is planning to install this technology at the entrances of the Metro Manila Subway stations.
A 6.9m diameter TBM being considered for the Metro Manila Subway weights more than 600 tonnes. The TBM will be assembled in Japan for a test run and after passing the tests, the machine will be disassembled and shipped to the Philippines, where it will be reassembled for construction use.
The officials are in Japan to attend a bilateral meeting between the Philippine infrastructure and economic teams and the Japanese government to discuss the PHL-JPN projects in the Philippines.
The Filipino delegation will brief Japanese businessmen on investment opportunities in the Philippines, including the progress of the ‘Build Build Build’ programme, at the Philippine Economic Briefing.
Image: Artist’s impression of the subway project traversing Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Cavite in the Philippines. Photo: Courtesy of Department of Transportation (Philippines) / Wikimedia Commons.