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Lahore Orange Line Project
Special Report on CPEC Projects (Transportation Infrastructure: Part 5)

1. Brief introduction

The main line of Lahore orange line project is 25.58km, including underground line 1.07km, elevated transition line 0.71km and elevated line 23.80km. Stations are designed to be 24 elevated and 2 underground respectively. Depot locates at the northern end of the orange line (covering an area of 20.32 hectares), with an access line of 0.85km. Stabling yard locates at the southernmost (covering an area of 7.64 hectares), with an access line of 0.76km.

On 22 April 2015, under the witness of President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, China Railway Corporation and China North Industries Corporation (CR-NORINCO) signed the EPC contract with Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA) regarding orange line project. The total contract value is USD 1.62 billion, including civil works, engineering and mechanical (E&M) works, and purchasing 27 train sets of Chinese standard B type rolling stock, and contingency sum. The construction period is 27 months.

Civil works include 26 stations, 1 depot, 1 stabling yard and 2 main high-voltage substations. E&M works include track engineering, power supply, communication, signal, automatic fare collection, platform screen door, escalator & elevator, high-voltage alternating current (HVAC), illumination, water supply & drainage & fire fighting and stabling yard & depot equipment.

The project financing is provided by the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China. According to governmental frame agreement on 22nd May 2015, orange line will fully adopt Chinese standard, Chinese production and Chinese supervision.

2. Latest progress

CR-NORINCO has established a joint management team. The site has completed the office, accommodation and rental facilities and procurement, and finalized the registration of local legal persons, taxpayers and importers, and also opened a local currency account at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Lahore branch.

1) Financing

In 2016, CR-NORINCO has received China Exim Bank payment of USD 475 million on orange line project, including the project advance payment of USD 272 million, 9 batches of civil construction progress payment of USD 183 million and the project concept design payment of USD 20 million.

2) Design and civil works

In December 2015, CR-NORINCO completed the project concept design. In December 2016, CR-NORINCO submitted the E&M works detailed design documents.

Till now, 58% of total civil works has been completed. Main line has basically completed pile, pile cap and pier construction. U-tub grider, station structure and underground section just started. 19.12% of U-grider pre-casting has completed. Depot and stabling yard construction is making good progress, and maintenance workshop, training center and control center are under construction.

3) E&M works

Since the latter half of the year 2016, production and shipping arrangement have started. Till now, camp and track laying have completed, and the pre-casting yard has already been put into use. CR-NORINCO has mobilized 162 sets heavy and medium size construction machinery.

3. Corporate social responsibility

CR-NORINCO has paid tax of 20.78 million rupees and withholding incoming tax USD 12.26 million (the completion of the project will be subject to the payment of withholding incoming tax more than USD 90 million). According to the contract, PMA would carry out the civil works, which is about USD 532 million. The local civil contractors have hired more than 5000 technicians and workers. Even though E&M works hasn’t formally started, it already created 956 local jobs. Besides, the project will rent warehouses and engineering machinery, and purchase raw materials like sand, stone, cement, etc. This would bring more business and job opportunities to local industries. In addition to economic contribution, CR-NORINCO also brings to Pakistan advanced Chinese technology for rail transportation designing, construction and management skills.

CR-NORINCO tried to provide better working and living conditions for local staff, and a mosque was specially built at site. The company is also planning to train local design and construction staff of the project.

(Liu Song, Chief Representative, China North Industries Corp., Islamabad Office)

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