China To Develop Philippine’s Mindanao Rail Network Project

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Proposed Railway is first in Mindanao and will eventually become a 1,530km circular island route

The Philippines’ Department of Transport has announced that the proposed Mindanao rail line, the first rail project outside the Philippines main Luzon Island, is to be developed in a joint venture between China Railway Design and Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision. The entire project is valued at US$1.6 billion.

The Mindanao line will extend for 102km along the islands southeast coast, linking Tagum, the provincial capital Davao City, and Digos.

The US$60 million development contract covers a range of services, from detailed design to revenue projection, for the project, and will run for more than two-and-a-half years.

The design-and-build construction work will be picked from a China-only shortlist of contractors. Those in the running are China Railway International Group, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, China State Construction Engineering and China Communications Construction Company. All are state-owned enterprises.

The government hopes to have the line enter service by June 2023. Later phases will extend it to a 1,530km circuit of Mindanao, which is the second largest in the Philippines archipelago. That concept is still being studied with different proposals having been made. The previous proposals, the just announced Tagam-Digos line and upcoming extensions yet to be decided on can be seen in the map below.

China Railway Design, formerly known as the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation is based in Tianjin and is a subsidiary of China State Railway Group. It is a major player in China’s domestic market, having designed more than 11,000km of high-speed track.

In 2007, the company successfully opened the international contracting engineering supervision market, with the Cambodian Public and Transport Ministry signing a national two-way two bridges project supervision consultant contracts with us. China Railway Design’s contracting engineer business has been involved in Asian BRI projects in Cambodia, and Papua New Guinea, among others.

Guangzhou Wanan is a consulting engineering firm founded in 1995. As well as China it has also worked in Cambodia, and Papua New Guinea.

The two companies also won a US$285 million contract to project manage the 639km Philippine National Railways South Long-Haul Project in 2018.

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