Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has agreed to extend its contract with the Philippines’ Department of Transportation to provide maintenance services for the Manila Metro Rail Transit System Line 3 (MRT-3). 

MHI and its group company TES Philippines works on the rehabilitation and maintenance of the MRT-3 with Sumitomo Corporation, who are also signed on to the extended contract and based in Tokyo. 

The contract, which will now run until July 2025, has also been expanded to include the extension of rail lines and installation of signals as well as expanding the pocket track to enable four-car railcars to run on it. 

Alongside falling into the Philippines’ plan to maintain its Manila transport networks, the contract extension is also in line with the Japanese government’s push to increase the export of “high-quality infrastructure”, according to MHI. 

Investment into the Manila transit system received a big boost last year when Tokyu Construction and partners secured a $338m contract to construct subway stations and tunnels for the country’s first subway project in Manila covering 27.5km. 

The MRT-3 line first opened in 2000 and runs along one of Manila’s main highways, spanning 17km through 13 stations and was the first urban railway system built by Japanese companies outside of Japan. 

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By GlobalData

MHI and Sumitomo provided maintenance to MRT-3 from its initial opening in 2000 until 2012 when the contract ended. The partnership with the Department of Transportation began again in 2019 after a decrease in the number of railcars in service on the line. 

According to MHI, the companies have increased operating speeds from 30km/h to 60km/h and increased the number of train sets in service. 

Sumitomo’s work in the Philippines has also included the construction of hundreds of train cars for the North-South Commuter Railway System, with the Japan Transport Engineering Company, linking the areas of Mabalacat in Pampanga to Calamba in Laguna.