Construction of a new railway in the Philippines to commence in 2017
Mindanao is the second largest and southmost isl...
A new 2,000-kilometre railway is to be built within Mindanao in a bid to boost the region's economy.
Mindanao is the second largest and southmost island in the Philippines, at which the railway will link major cities and “play a major role toward improvement of Mindanao’s intra-island accessibility, linkages and seamless multimodal transport networks,” according to the National Economic and Development Authority.
The project will be completed in two phases, which will be completed after President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.
The development has attracted both local and multinational investment companies, alongside several conglomerates. Megawide Construction Corp, San Miguel Corp and Malaysia’s MTD Group are keen to be involved in the project, in addition to firms within China, Japan and South Korea, who are all keen to finance the development.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said, "money is not really a major consideration, because there are so many investors interested ... both local businessmen and foreign investors.”
Neda Deputy Director-General Rolando G. Tungpalan has stated a study will be undertaken to ascertain “the best way to structure the project.”
“Rail is the locomotive that will drive Mindanao’s progress. It is also a driver for peace because as communities become interconnected, economies are linked, growth spreads, and travel brings cultural exchanges,” commented Senator Sonny Angara.
Construction works will commence next year, with expected completion after 2022.
Read the August 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.