In addition to capital investments reaching over P10 billion to date for the upgrade of Light Rail Transit (LRT-1), private operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) yesterday announced it has signed a P650-million agreement with First Balfour, Inc. and MRail, Inc. for the rehabilitation of 11 rectifier substations along the 21-kilometer line.

“As they power our trains, the substations are absolutely critical to providing reliable electricity supply and efficient operations of trains,” announced LRMC President and CEO Juan F. Alfonso.

The rehabilitation of the substations will take two years to complete.

It covers the replacement of major substation equipment such as the critical switchgears, rectifiers, transformer, cables, the enhancement of the supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) which allows real-time monitoring of faults at the substations and the modernization of fire detection and suppression systems.

“Some of these substations are 30 years old and need to be modernized to ensure reliability and efficiency of electric supply to our trains,” Alfonso added.

“They also allow us to use newer, more sustainable technology to support our commitments to the environment as part of our ISO 45000 certification.”

The project is part of the ongoing LRT-1 system improvements which include the rehabilitation of trains, renovation of the 20 stations, as well as the structural enhancements of the parapets.

The upgrade has increased the number of trains from 77 to 112 in its first three years, enabling LRMC to increase the number of trips and accommodate more passengers. In August 2018, monthly ridership on LRT-1 hit a record high of 14 million.

LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL).

By Emmie V. Abadilla