SMC seals financing for P63B MRT-7 commuter project
MANILA — San Miguel Corp. — through its unit Universal LRT Corp BVI Ltd (ULC), the concessionaire of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 project — “has fully complied with the financial closure requirements” of the concession agreement and has been “preparing to break ground on the vital infrastructure project,” the conglomerate said in a statement.
Once completed, the P63-billion MRT-7 project will connect Quezon City to San Jose, Bulacan via a 22.8-kilometer commuter rail line.
“We have already submitted required documents to the Department of Transportation and Communications last week, certifying commitment from us and our banks to provide financing facilities for the project,” SMC president and ULC chair Ramon Ang said yesterday afternoon.
With the submission of the documents, the MRT-7 concessionaire has achieved financial closure under the terms of the project’s concession agreement.
Having achieved financial closure, the contract for the construction of MRT-7 has been deemed “contract effective” under the terms of the MRT-7 concession agreement, the conglomerate added.
As such, the MRT-7 concessionaire has requested DOTC to determine the date for the project’s groundbreaking.
Meanwhile, the MRT-7 construction timeline submitted by MRT-7 EPC contractor Hyundai Rotem-EEI consortium, has been approved by the DOTC. The construction timeline calls for the commencement of the MRT-7 construction and construction-related activities on February 18, 2016 and completion on August 17, 2019.
The MRT-7 project was awarded to ULC during the previous Arroyo administration, but long delays under the current administration — including an unrelated dispute between the government and the SM and Ayala groups over the location of a central train terminal — delayed its launch date.
Based on initial plans, MRT 7 was estimated to operate as many as 108 rail cars in a three-car train configuration. Capacity was projected at 448,000 passengers a day, but will eventually be expanded to accommodate as many as 850,000 passengers daily. SFM
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