DOTr unveils first tunnel boring machine for Metro Manila Subway project
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday displayed the cutter head of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will be used for the partial operability section of the P393-billion Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP).
DOTr said it named this first of six TBMs for the partial operability section of the subway project as “Kaunlaran,” or progress.
“This Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) symbolizes its name, ‘KAUNLARAN’. Today, as we applaud the coming of Kaunlaran, I ask you, join us in riding the TBM, and in riding the first Metro Subway because ito ‘ho ay paglakbay papunta sa KAUNLARAN (this is a journey towards progress),” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said, explaining the meaning behind the TBM’s moniker.
Weighing 74 tons, the cutter head is the most substantial part of the TBM, according to DOTr. Its main purpose is to break, cut, and grind rocks and soil by rotating its 36-piece disc cutter, it added.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan noted that the MMSP, along with 12 other railway projects throughout the country, are being implemented at a record scale and pace.
“To accelerate the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project and to minimize road interference during construction, we will be using not just 1 but a fleet of 25 Japanese-made Tunnel Boring Machines or (TBMs),” he explained.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa expressed Japan’s full commitment to support the Philippine government in developing the transport infrastructure projects of the country.
“We will continue to support the Philippine government, by utilizing our state of the art technologies, and ensuring a fast and sure approach,” Koshikawa said.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa, likewise assured the Philippine government that the agency will also help other projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” scheme.
DOTr said the remaining parts of the machine will arrive and will be transported at the site for assembly, which will then be followed by mandatory operational tests.
The machine is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
The MMSP is the first underground railway system in the country that will provide the most modern mass transportation in the National Capital Region (NCR), from Valenzuela City to Bicutan, Parañaque, and NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City, and will further stretch across North and South zones of the Greater Capital Region.
The subway is expected to partially operate in 2022 and serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year.
DOTr hopes all stations will be fully operational by 2026, with a design capacity of 1.5 million passengers per day. Zac Sarao, Trainee
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