ONLY ONE consortium has prequalified for work on the North Avenue Extension light rail project in Manila.

LRTA Administrator Melquiades Robles announced on November 24 that the grouping of DMCI, EEI and First Balfour had prequalified to tender for the electrical and mechanical works contract, known as Package C, which is valued at 2bn pesos.

The 5·7 km extension of LRTA's Line 1 from Monumento to the North Avenue terminus of Metro Rail Transit's Line 3 will have two intermediate stations at Balintawak and Roosevelt. It is expected to cost 6bn pesos in total, with Package A, the civil engineering contract, worth 2·8bn pesos and Package B covering the station works valued at 830m pesos.

Around 20 companies had expressed interest in the project, including Leighton Contractors, Cavite Construction, Systra, Hanjin Heavy Industries, Daewoo, Marubeni and Siemens. But the Chairman of LRTA's bid committee Cesar Chavez said all the bids for packages A and B had 'failed', along with a Leighton-A M Oreta bid for Package C.

Packages A and B were to be re-tendered before the end of 2007, with Robles still hoping to start construction in May 2008 and open the line in April 2010.