Top Chinese firm wants to help build Mindanao railway

August 2, 2017 - 8:50 AM
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The office of China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (PNA)

CHENGDU, China — One of the largest comprehensive engineering survey and design companies in China is hoping to participate in the construction of the proposed Mindanao Railway Project.

Zhang Xuecai, general manager of China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd., said he went to the Philippines in June to meet with officials of the Department of Transportation and discuss MRP Phase 1, the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the rail system.

”We are interested in the southern Philippines railways. We will enhance the communications with the transportation minister,” Zhang said in an interview Tuesday with Asian journalists at CREEC headquarters in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

Zhang said CREEC is interested in participating in all railway projects China will undertake in the Philippines “but right now our interest is limited in the southern Philippines.”

China plans to invest US$3.5 billion in infrastructure projects such as irrigation, dams, railways and bridges. It has committed to build two bridges for free across Pasig River to help decongest Metro Manila.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Beijing in October last year, China committed $24 billion worth of investment and infrastructure project pledges to the Philippines.

Zhang said CREEC has also shared with Philippine government officials a proposal to connect at least four major islands in the Philippines.

”In China, there is a saying that if you want to be rich, you have to build roads first. I am convinced that with the development of the Philippines infrastructure projects will increase its demands,” Zhang said.

The Duterte administration has launched the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development plan that will require some P8 trillion in public and private spending until 2022.

Zhang said CREEC is a major contributor to infrastructure development under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which includes 11 projects in 11 South and Southeast Asian countries.

Founded in 1952, CREEC is a subsidiary of World Top 500 Corporation China Railway Group Limited and has been awarded the top prize of National Award for Progress in Science and Technology.

It currently has 6,000 employees, including 258 experts, with 65 subsidiaries, production and operation institutes and branches, and more than 130 project departments in China and across the world.