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Business

MPIC, Malaysian firm partner for P3 billion worth of rail projects

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
MPIC, Malaysian firm partner for P3 billion worth of rail projects
Hartasuma Group executive director Tan Sri Ravindran Menon and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan shake hands after signing the memorandum of agreement for the development of rail infrastructure in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, has partnered with Malaysia’s rail services provider Hartasuma Sdn Bhd to embark on some P3 billion worth of rail projects in the Philippines.

The projects may include setting up cable-car systems in different parts of the country for tourism and urban transport, and setting up rail and rolling stock refurbishment projects in the Philippines.

The agreement with Hartasuma aims to drive the development of rail infrastructure in the Philippines, according to MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

MPIC is reconsidering betting big on rail projects, including MRT-3, now that the regulatory environment has improved, he said.

“The regulatory environment has changed so we are a bit more optimistic,” Pangilinan told reporters.

MPIC has made an unsolicited proposal to invest in MRT-3, he said.

The Marcos administration is open to partnering with private companies for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of MRT-3, with the rail line assets to remain government-owned.

The agreement with Hartasuma was signed yesterday by Pangilinan and Hartasuma Group executive director Tan Sri Ravindran Menon.

“We look forward to learning from the expertise of Hartasuma’s over 28 years in the rail engineering and transport industries, and to applying these lessons to our operations in the Philippines. There is a lot for us to share. Together, we intend to explore innovations that can help us build the transport infrastructure of the future,” said Pangilinan.

The projects with Hartasuma aim to not only transform the transportation landscape of the country, but also create a thriving industry that will support economic progress.

“We are very honored to partner an extremely reputable and established infrastructure player in MPIC. We look to value add our collaboration and assist MPIC in achieving its goals,” he said.

Hartasuma has been in the rail business for a long time and can add value to rail projects in the Philippines.

MPIC, through its subsidiary Light Rail Manila Corp, (LRMC), operates and maintains 20 LRT stations. It is expanding with the construction of five new stations for the Cavite extension project.

LRMC seeks to fortify its position in the Philippine light railway system and has an active interest public-private partnership (PPP) opportunities in the light rail sector.

MPIC aims to leverage Hartasuma’s expertise to enhance the local content, and capabilities in train manufacturing, “ultimately nurturing a self-sustaining industry ecosystem.”

“There is a lot of demand and interest in rail infrastructure projects as the government looks to improve regional connectivity through the development of transport infrastructure. We look forward to participating in some of this growth,” said Hartasuma’s Ravindran Menon.

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