JR East subsidiary J-TREC developed the Sustina EMU concept in 2013 with export markets in Asia in mind.

PHILIPPINES: Japan International Cooperation Agency has granted a ¥253·3bn loan to the national government to fund further construction work on the initial phase of the MRT9 Metro Manila Subway, the first fully underground heavy metro line in the Philippines.

The loan will be used to finance construction of the initial 6∙9 km section, on which work is already underway. It will support the completion of three stations, a depot and other civil engineering works, procurement of track, signalling and rolling stock, as well as covering the cost of related consultancy services.

The loan is being granted for a period of 40 years, with interest at 0·11% and a period of grace of 13 years. Among the terms imposed by JICA is that procurement be tied to Japan — which means that the main contractor must be Japanese or affiliated to a Japanese company, but any subcontractors do not.

An initial ¥67bn construction contract was awarded in April 2020 to a Shimizu-led consortium including Fujita Corp, Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co, and local company EEI Corp.

The first section is expected to be operational by November 2027. The line will be operated by a fleet of Sustina EMUs supplied by Sumitomo Corp and J-TREC; these will be similar to the EMUs ordered by PNR for Manila’s North-South Commuter Railway.

When completed, MRT9 will be 27 km long, serving 15 stations between Valenzuela City in the north of the conurbation and Pasay City in the south. Total cost is now estimated at ¥1 078bn, with JICA committed to providing ¥804bn.