The TBM for the Kaliwa Dam Project successfully rolled off the production line, passed factory acceptance test and accepted by the China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC), the Design and Build Contractor of the Project.  On 18 May 2021 the official factory acceptance between CEEC and China Railway Construction Heavy Industry, Co., Ltd (CRCHI), was witnessed by MWSS Board of Trustees and Management officials, the Presidents of MWSS’ two (2) Concessionaires, and graced by personalities from Beijing and Changsa, China.  Factory Acceptance Testing was conducted via video connection, and included a live demonstration of the completed and powered main body and cutter head, as the rotating cutter disc is in operation.

As a Guest of Honor, Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, expressed optimism about the TBM’s arrival, stating that stable and sustainable water supply will soon become a reality.  He lauded the current MWSS administration, who he said, will go down in history as the group that brought Kaliwa Dam to life.

Chairman Reynaldo Velasco, whose primary focus has always been the development of a new water source for Metro Manila, stated, “When I consider the magnitude of the required infrastructure, and knowing that to operate a TBM, 200 to 500 meters below the Sierra Madre mountains, crossing population centers in Rizal, technical hazards are likely to be present.  I take comfort in the fact that the MWSS’ project team are experienced in complex tunneling and underground projects and that China, is one of the reliable global suppliers of the TBM.  He reminded CRCHI and CEEC that MWSS expects nothing short of excellent after-sales and accessory support.

Mr. Cheng Yongliang, General Manager of CRCHI, commented that this TBM is an irrefutable proof of the mutually beneficial cooperation between the Philippines and China through the Build, Build, Build program and the Belt and Road Initiative.

The TBM, was named after the national flower of the Philippines, Sampaguita, which connotes a promise.  TBM-Sampaguita promises to provide an increased level of safety, as well as minimal surface disturbance and faster progress. All of these things will help to speed up tunnel construction. The machine is expected to arrive in the Port of Manila in July 2021 and will be transported to the outlet portal in Teresa, Rizal, for re-assembly. The 21.7-kilometer tunnel excavation using the TBM is scheduled to begin in December 2021.