First cutterhead delivered to Manila Metro

8 February 2021

‘A journey towards progress’ was how the arrival of a 67-tonne TBM cutterhead for the Metro Manila Subway project (MMSP) was described by Philippines transport secretary Arthur Tugade. Arrival of the remaining TBM parts is expected to be completed by the end of February 2021.

The US$7.4bn MMSP will be the country’s first underground railway system, seen as another instance of President Duterte’s Golden Age of Infrastructure. Phase one will stretch 34km underground from Valenzuela City to Parañaque City, ending with a connection to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

’Partial operability’ of Phase 1 comprises first, the construction of a depot, four stations and tunnels from East Valenzuela to North Avenue on which construction began in 2019. Joint venture contractor Shimizu-Fujita-Takenaka-EEI (SFTE) is expected to complete this section by December 2021 at the earliest, or by February 2022 at the latest. The remaining partial operability section includes 13 stations from Quezon Avenue Station to Bicutan Station and NAIA Terminal 3 on which construction will begin this year.

A total of 25 TBMs will be used for the project, all manufactured by JIM Technologies of Japan; six will be required for the partial operability phase and are expected to mine around 12m/day. Full operation of the 34km line and its 17 stations is expected to begin by 2026.