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San Miguel Corporation has secured project financing to develop the US$1.54 billion Manila Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) PPP project in the Philippines.
Project financing has been provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered Bank.
The project involves the development of a 22.8 km metro line with 14 stations. The line will run in the northeast direction, traversing Quezon City and a part of North Caloocan in Metro Manila before ending in the city of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province.
Universal LRT Corporation (ULC), which was composed of a consortium of the Tranzen Group, EEI Corporation and SM Prime Holdings submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Philippine Department of Transportation in 2002. In June 2007, DOTC presented a Swiss Challenge in which four business firms submitted their counter proposal.
In January 2008, DOTC announced that the ULC proposal emerged as winner and the contract was signed. San Miguel Corporation acquired a majority stake in Universal LRT Corporation (ULC) in October 2010 but the search for financing options resulted in long delays.
In May 2009, the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved the MRT-7 project. Construction of MRT-7 should have commenced in January 2010, but has been postponed several times since then.
In April 2015, San Miguel Corporation announced that it will begin construction of the MRT 7 by the middle of 2016 but finally construction works begin this month. The firm has hired a consortium led by South Korea's Hyundai Rotem and Philippines' EEI as the railway builder. The companies expect to finish construction works by August 2019.
Once completed, the new line will be the fourth overhead railway in the Philippines. It has a design capacity to handle a maximum of approximately 800,000 passengers daily.