Business & Economy

Big Japan firm eyes P171-B rail project

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Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. is considering making a big infrastructure play in the Philippines via railway public-private partnership (PPP) project like the P171-billion North South Commuter railway deal, where it will also need local partners, a company official said Friday.

Alistair Dormer, global CEO of Hitachi Rail, told the Inquirer that the group has already been studying the country’s infrastructure and transportation requirements for the last six months.

Hitachi, which has been present in the Philippines since the 1930s, is better known here for its consumer goods like air-conditioners and refrigerators, but Dormer said the company was a major global player in infrastructure.

In railways, Hitachi was the fourth-biggest player in the world, he said. Its push in the Philippines, where it has more than 2,700 employees, is in line with plans to increase its infrastructure footprint in the region.

“At this moment in time, railway infrastructure in the Philippines is quite small. Traffic congestion is quite heavy and I have no doubt this will increase in the future. But if you look at the economy, it’s still strong,” Dormer said. “All these factors lead to the view that there must be a way to expand the railway network in the Philippines.”

Dormer said the company, which provided “full turnkey” solutions from train coaches to signaling systems and IT infrastructure, was already exploring a number of projects, especially those under the PPP pipeline. Inquirer.net

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