A Joint Venture （JV） led by Shimizu Corporation （President: Kazuyuki Inoue, “Shimizu”） has commenced the excavation of tunnels using the shield tunneling method on the Metro Manila Subway Project CP101, which is the first project of its kind in the Philippines. On January 9, 2023, the Shield Tunnel Boring Machine launching ceremony was held with several guests including the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Mr. Jaime Bautista - Secretary of Department of Transportation. Shimizu’s JV partners are Fujita Corporation, Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., and EEI Corporation - a major local construction company.
The Metro Manila Subway Project was planned with the aim of alleviating traffic congestion, which is becoming more and more serious every year due to the rapid population growth in Metro Manila. Being a project financed through a loan from the Japanese government, a total of 17 stations and a depot will be constructed along a 33.1km subway section connecting Mindanao Avenue in the northern part of Metro Manila to Western Bicutan in the southern part of Metro Manila, where Ninoy Aquino International Airport is located. The JV will construct the first 7.3-km section of the project, known as “CP101”, from the Depot to the north Metro Manila, including the Depot, 3stations, and 6 shield tunnels which connect the stations （three northbound and three southbound）.
The design and construction work orders of CP101 have been divided into three segments, as follows; first（Supplemental Agreement 1: SA1）, the construction of the depot, Tandang Sora Station, and Cut and Cover Tunnel which was executed in November 2019. The purpose is to facilitate the surface to underground transition. Second（SA2）, the structure work of the Quirino Highway Station and North Avenue Station which was executed in March 2020, and third（SA3）, the Tunnel construction and the architecture and MEP works of Quirino Highway Station and North Avenue Station which was executed in December 2021. The total executed amount is Yen 158.5 billion （converted amount）. The construction work began in August 2021, and to date, the building works at Depot, Cut and Cover tunnel work and the underground structure work for each station building have been proceeded. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in July 2027.
The tunneling work that has begun at this time, involves the construction of six underground tunnels with a total length of 9.5km and an inner diameter of 6.1m, using up to six Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines （TBM）. The first two tunnel boring machines which launched on January 9, 2023 were headed from the launching shaft at the Depot to the Quirino Highway Station. On the other hand, the northbound and southbound tunnels between North Avenue/Tandang Sora Stations and Tandang Sora/Quirino Highway Stations will be constructed in turn. Moreover, four TBMs will launch and arrive sequentially. In view of this, the JV will proceed with the construction with safety as the first priority while educating and instructing Filipino workers and JV staff who have no experience in subway tunnel construction in the Philippines.
As the first subway construction project in the Philippines, this construction has attracted the attention of the people of Metro Manila and is highly anticipated to play a key role in relieving traffic congestion. The project has reached a major milestone, the launching of the first boring machine, and is expected to reach its peak construction period in the coming years. The JV will continue to contribute to the development of the Philippines by constructing and providing high-quality transportation infrastructure in a safe and reliable construction method.