YANGON—Japan’s largest trading company, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), has inked contracts worth about 69 billion yen (about 881.3 billion kyats) with Myanmar’s state railway company to deliver new units of rolling stock for two major transportation projects—the Yangon Circular Railway (YCR) and the Yangon-Mandalay Railway (YM).
MC said it signed two contracts with Myanma Railways on Monday. The first agreement is to deliver 66 railroad cars for use in the YCR project in Myanmar’s commercial capital. The second is to deliver 180 cars for the YM project, which will connect Myanmar’s two largest economic hubs via Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s capital.
The company said that the cars will be delivered to Myanmar in stages between 2023 and 2025.
MC said the total cost of the project will be covered by an international yen loan agreement between the Myanmar and Japanese governments.
The company said the cars will include Japanese components and equipment and be assembled by Spain’s largest manufacturer of rolling stock, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.
The YCR plan project aims to upgrade and modernize the existing Yangon Circular Railway. It currently takes roughly 170 minutes to complete the loop around central Yangon. The cars delivered by MC will cover the approximately 46-km loop in about 110 minutes, the company said.
The YM project is part of Phase 2 of the improvement plan of the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Line. The company said the cars delivered by MC will halve the approximately 620 km journey from the current 15 hours to roughly eight hours.
Both projects are being implemented under the Loan Scheme of the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) program, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). For the YM project, the two sides signed an agreement worth 45 billion yen to implement a rehabilitation project for the Phase 1 Yangon-Taungoo section and the Phase 2 Taungoo-Mandalay section in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
For the YCR project, a 24.866-billion yen loan agreement was signed in 2015 to improve the efficiency, capacity, safety and comfort of public transport services. The YCR project includes improvement of signaling works, and rehabilitation and replacement of existing railway facilities and rolling stock.
The first phases of both the YM and YCR projects are expected to be completed in 2023, JICA said.
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