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Manila subway tunnel boring machine will arrive early, full construction starts August 2020

The first tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will be used in the construction of the new Metro Manila Subway system will be delivered about four months ahead of schedule.

JIM Technology, Inc. (JIMT), the Japanese firm contracted to manufacture the six TBMs for the subway, will complete the first TBM by June, said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan.

“Makapag-umpisa tayo ng tunneling natin within this year," Batan said.

"But still, (DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade) asked if it can be further accelerated. So, we're now looking at nine to 10 months for the first unit,” he added.

The excavation for the 15 stations of the subway will start months earlier or by the second quarter of this year according to the undersecretary.

TBMs have the advantage of limiting the disturbance to the surrounding ground and producing a smooth wall tunnel compared to conventional “hand mining.”

The government broke ground for the first three stations (Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue) of the subway project in February last year after the DoTr signed a P51-billion deal for that package with the Shimizu joint venture, which is comprised of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd. and EEI Corp.


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