TOKYO -- Tokyu Construction has won an order to build a railway system in Bangladesh, sources said on Saturday. The project, worth around 8 billion yen ($70.7 million), is part of a Dhaka transportation system development plan being spearheaded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The deal will likely raise hopes for more orders going to Japanese companies.
Tokyu Construction will be the first Japanese concern contracted to build a railway system in Bangladesh. The deal comes amid growing competition with Chinese and European companies also trying to supply railway infrastructure to the region.
Overseas companies also have some leeway to bid for rolling stock as well as signaling and other systems necessary for the rail system.
Tokyu Construction and the Dhaka Mass Transit Company will hold a signing ceremony on Sunday in Dhaka.
The Japanese contractor is to provide ground improvement and development work for the site to be used as a train depot. Work will likely start around June and be completed in the summer of 2018.
Line 6 of the Mass Rapid Transit, or MRT, system, the first commuter railway in the capital, will link Uttara, in northern Dhaka, to Motijheel, where government offices are concentrated. Sixteen new train stations will be built along the 20km or so route. A northern part of the line will open in 2019 ahead of the scheduled full opening by 2021.
The line will cut traveling time between the two points from about 2 hours by car to 36 minutes. The project is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles in the city and improving air quality. The overall cost is estimated at around 240 billion yen.
Bidding for associated work and equipment is underway. Companies are currently being invited to supply 144 carriages for the line. Bidding for signaling and other traffic systems is to begin in April.
Tokyu Construction's win may provide a tailwind for other Japanese companies wishing to get a slice of the market in Bangladesh.