MTR has signed an agreement with Shenyang Metro Group and the north eastern Chinese city’s municipal government for the operation and maintenance of Shenyang Metro Lines 1 and 2.

The agreement includes pre-operation readiness, train and station operations as well as maintenance.

A new company will be formed as a part of joint venture between MTR (49%) and Shenyang Metro Group (51%), a wholly owned subsidiary of Shenyang Municipal Government, with $58.7m of which $29.3m is registered capital.

MTR chief executive officer CK Chow said that the area and the rail line are of strategic importance.

“As the capital city of Liaoning Province and the largest city in the northeast, Shenyang plays a strategic role in economic development across the Northeast area of the Mainland,” Chow said.

The 28km-long Line 1 running east-west with 22 underground stations will open in 2010 and the 22km-long north-south Line 2 with 19 underground stations will open in 2012.

MTR has also signed an agreement to explore property development opportunities along the metro lines, including “Golden Corridor”, a revitalisation project along Line 2.

Feasibility studies for Line 4 and the north extension of Line 2 to explore investment opportunities are underway.

In the long term, 11 metro lines are planned.