MRT-7 now 63.35% complete: DOTr
by Philippine Resources - May 17, 2022
Photo credit: San Miguel Corp
The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), one of the flagship transportation projects of the Duterte administration, is now 63.35 percent complete, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Monday.
In a Facebook post, the DOTr said the construction of the project continues to accelerate to serve the public as soon as possible.
“Oras na matapos at maging operational ang MRT-7, ang dating 2-3 hours na biyahe ng ating mga kababayan mula North Avenue, Quezon City patungong San Jose del Monte sa Bulacan, ay magiging 35 minutes na lamang (Once the MRT-7 is complete and operational, the previous two to three-hour travel between North Avenue and San Jose del Monte will be reduced to just 35 minutes),” the DOTr said.
The MRT-7, it said, will be capable of serving an average of 300,000 to 500,000 passengers in a single day.
First conceptualized in an unsolicited proposal in August 2001, the MRT-7’s concession agreement was signed on June 8, 2008.
By the beginning of the Duterte administration in 2016, the project had yet to materialize.
“Ni walang poste o isang tren man lang ang kanilang nadatnan. Kaya naman, sinikap ng DOTr at San Miguel Corporation (SMC) na simulan at isakatuparan ang proyekto (There was not a single post or train by then. That’s why the DOTr and SMC strived to start and turn the project into reality),” the DOTr said.
In December last year, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade unveiled the first six trains to be used in the MRT-7. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - September 20, 2021
PH's 1st airport underground railway to unlock growth in C. Luzon
The Philippine North Railway (PNR) project inside this Freeport, which will feature the country’s first-ever airport railway express service, will unlock economic growth and the employment potentials of Central Luzon, especially Bulacan and Pampanga, under the “Build, Build, Build” project, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Saturday. Tugade, who inspected the excavation of the airport underground railway in front of the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport (CRK), said the project would generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for locals, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and transport workers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. “Sa katunayan, mahigit 7,000 direct jobs ang nabuksan sa construction phase ng PNR Clark Phase 2, at inaasahang 3,000 job opportunities pa ang magbubukas oras na maging operational ito. Samantala, inaasahang higit 25,000 direct job opportunities ang hatid ng buong North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) line during construction, at 10,000 jobs naman ang maidadagdag oras na mabuksan na ito (In fact, more than 7,000 direct jobs have been opened in the construction phase of PNR Clark Phase 2, and it is expected that 3,000 job opportunities will open when it becomes operational. Meanwhile, more than 25,000 direct jobs are expected to open during the construction of the entire NSCR line, and 10,000 jobs will be added by the time it opens),” Tugade said in an official social media account post. Joining Tugade during the inspection were provincial government officials and representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank. The underground train station of the PNR inside Clark is part of the 53-km. PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark segment) project. Tugade said once operational, PNR Clark 2 will cut travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga from 1.5 hours to 2 hours to just 30 minutes to 35 minutes. It has six stations – Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, and CRK. This project is part of the massive 147-km. NSCR, which will have 35 stations, and shall operate 464 train cars, with 58 eight-car train sets configuration. As of July 2021, PNR Clark Phase 2 recorded an overall progress rate of 32 percent, while PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos segment), is now 48-percent complete.
Philippine Resources - September 20, 2021
PNR Clark Phase 2 to spur economic recovery in Central Luzon
Photo Credit: Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Ltd Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade has assured that once it is operational, the PNR Clark Phase 2 of the North-South Commuter Rail Project (NSCR) project will create needed jobs and spur economic recovery in Central Luzon amid the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The DOTr, in all of its projects, has always aimed to revitalize the country’s economy. A transport infrastructure project like the NSCR will spur economic growth in Central Luzon, particularly the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga,” Tugade said in a news release on Sunday. The NSCR System is the single largest infrastructure project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and is the longest greenfield commuter railway project to be financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is also the biggest project to be undertaken so far under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte Administration with a total cost of PHP777.55-billion. It is one of the key infrastructure railway projects supported by Japan, in addition to the Metro Manila Subway and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 Rehabilitation projects. The PNR Clark Phase 2 is a 53 kilometer-rail line under the NSCR that will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga. Tugade said once operational, PNR Clark Phase 2 will improve transport connectivity and mobility across the Central Luzon and spur various employment in various sectors. “The Malolos to Clark Railway of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) aims to cut travel time between Malolos, Bulacan and Clark, Pampanga, from 1.5 to 2 hours, to just 30-35 minutes. It also features the country’s first-ever Airport Railway Express Service, which will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport in just 55 minutes, from the current 2-3 hours,” Tugade said. PNR Clark Phase 2 will have six train stations, namely, Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, and Clark Airport. The rail stations will include multimodal facilities that will allow seamless transfer of commuters from public utility vehicles to trains. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - September 02, 2021
Trains for MRT-7 project set to arrive: SMC
San Miguel Corporation has announced that the first batch of trains for its Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-7 project is set to arrive in the country from South Korea next week, even as work continues for the completion of the much-awaited mass rail project. The trains, which consist of six cars or two trainsets procured from South Korea’s Hyundai ROTEM, have cleared inspections and factory acceptance testing, with the country’s national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), serving as SMC’s adviser. Each trainset is 65.45 meters long -- or well over the entire length of an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is 50 meters. “The timely arrival of these brand new, high-quality trains from South Korea --known as one of the world’s best train and rail systems builders -- is such a welcome development, and I believe holds a lot of significance. At a time when many are feeling uncertain about our country’s future because of the pandemic, this shows that the job of nation-building continues; that the work of improving our infrastructure, boosting our economic growth prospects, and investing in our country’s brighter future, also doesn’t stop -- especially for us in San Miguel,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Wednesday. Ang said more trains are set to arrive in the following months, up to next year, until all 108 cars or 36 trainsets the company acquired are delivered. Despite continuing pandemic restrictions and pending right-of-way (ROW) issues, the project itself is now at over 54 percent completion, with installation of bored piles, girders, and other foundational works on a significant portion of the project, already completed. “Right now, construction activities on the guideway and the stations are ongoing. Electronic and mechanical works also continue. As we said before, the MRT-7 project is in many ways more difficult and complex than even our recently-competed Skyway Stage 3 -- which in itself is an engineering feat,” he said. Ang said MRT-7 has added complexities such as electric power systems, computer and communications systems, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among others. “There are many causes of delay, from necessary pandemic restrictions, to ROW issues, but as with all SMC projects, we apply 110 percent effort to all the areas we can work on, so as to minimize delays. The most important thing is we don’t stop, we keep on progressing. We thank our national government, especially President (Rodrigo) Duterte, the DoTR (Department of Transportation), the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), and the LGUs (local government units) of Quezon City and Bulacan, for their continuing support for this project,” Ang added. Earlier, SMC reported that manufacturing of other important equipment needed for the MRT-7 which were all sourced from various countries has also been completed. Various other railway operations equipment such those needed for automatic fare systems, communication systems, signaling systems, power supply systems, third rail, track works systems and rolling stock maintenance equipment --used for the maintenance of trains-- are also set to be delivered from various countries throughout the year. The first test run of the project is set for December 2022.
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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022
Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production
Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country. Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022
DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation
Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity. The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022
The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration
upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.
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