Assessment on MRT3’s 48 Dalian trains complete

By Emmie V. Abadilla

The audit and assessment of TUV Rheinland on the 48 Dalian trains for Metro Rail Transit 3 have been “substantially completed, but not yet concluded,” the Department of Transportation yesterday announced.

TUV Rheinland was the independent certified certifier contracted to audit and assess the entire MRT-3 system in general, and the Dalian trains in particular.

According to TUV Rheinland’s Interim Report, additional information and documentation on design and validation evidence are still being obtained, and further type and routine tests are still to be conducted.

Among the tests that TUV Rheinland recommended to be conducted is a weighing test of the Dalian trains in Manila, because the previous project team for the project failed to attend and witness the weight testing done in Dalian, China in November, 2015.

According to TUV Rheinland, the weighing test should be done to eliminate any doubts, and so DOTr MRT-3 can witness and formally sign off on the trains’ weight.

Assessing the Dalian trains’ safety, compatibility with MRT-3, and compliance with their Terms of Reference, through a highly qualified, independent, and ISO certified certifier, with extensive experience in the certification of trains, has always been the DOTr’s approach in resolving the Dalian trains issue, which is consistent with prudent international industry practice.

Knowing that the Dalian trains will affect the safety of hundreds of thousands of MRT-3 passengers daily, the DOTr and MRT-3 management will ensure that the necessary processes are observed in their assessment.

Regardless of the independent assessment’s outcome, this administration remains committed in running after the officials that caused the current degraded state of MRT-3.

Tags: Assessment on MRT3’s 48 Dalian trains completeDalianDepartment of Transportationindependent assessmentMRT-3TUV Rheinland


Maximizing returns: Chinese steel mills to ramp up output before curbs bite again

MANILA/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s steel producers are eager to unleash their mills’ capacity when this winter’s output curbs end next month, hoping for a repeat of last year’s record profits based on high margins and less competition as outdated plants were closed.

China shut down up to half of its steel production this winter in 28 cities in the country’s manufacturing heartland in the north as part of an anti-pollution campaign. With margins still encouraging full output, China’s pent-up steel production should erupt when the curbs expire on March 15. 

Because of the curbs, China’s average daily steel output in December was the lowest in a year at 2.16 million tonnes, government data showed last month. Average daily output may rise to about 2.5 million tonnes if the mills quickly boost production when the restrictions are lifted, Wang Yingsheng, vice secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association told an industry conference in late January. 

With the government likely to re-impose the limits next winter, northern Chinese mills will have only about eight months to run at full speed, so plants are stocking up on raw materials to maximize production while the market conditions remain strong. 

“I think there could be restrictions again on mills in north China this year and they could increase output before the restrictions,” said a senior manager at a steel mill in southern China. 

“If the market’s good, every mill will try to run at full capacity in order to make more profit.”

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Imperial Homes first developer in PH to use Connovate building technology

Connovate Philippines Inc. and Imperial Homes Corp. are making history in the Philippine real estate scene as the first to adopt Connovate in the country.

Connovate, a construction breakthrough from Denmark, is a high-performance concrete building technology that offers less carbon footprint, 100-year material lifespan, fast construction and insulation abilities, among other innovative features.

 Engr. Ramir Padilla, president of Connovate Phils. and Fernand Imperial, chairman of Connovate Phils.      

Engr. Ramir Padilla, president of Connovate Phils. and Fernand Imperial, chairman of Connovate Phils.



Connovate Philippines Inc. acquired the exclusive production licensing agreement from Connovate Denmark. Imperial Homes Corp. is the first developer to use the technology in the Philippines and to produce it for low-cost mass housing projects.

The housing line is called Imperial Lifetime Homes, the first lifetime home in the country and the company’s second generation of solar-powered low-cost housing. It will make its debut at Via Verde in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

The automated Danish factory for Connovate, located in Silang, Cavite, has a full capacity of two houses per day production. As a result, it now has a Philippine record of the fastest developer with the installation of six ground floor units a day.

Due to construction speed, Connovate Philippines Inc. addresses one of the biggest problems in the country’s housing backlog. Many low-cost housing developers could not meet the deadline to deliver quality homes to its buyers, resulting in poor quality homes that can last for 30 years only.

“The Connovate technology is a better investment for developers as it is the only panel system in the country that can meet three major goals: cost-efficiency with faster construction, green solutions for climate change, and health benefits,” said Engr. Ramir Padilla, president of Connovate Philippines.

The panels are produced with less cement since cement production accounts for five percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Add to that the fact that the panels can last a lifetime. Therefore, Connovate lessens the need for cement production to rebuild a structure after 30 years. As a result, it reduces the carbon footprint for developers.

 Engr. Ramir Padilla (president, Connovate Phils.), Peter Berg (chairman, Connovate Aps), Kaj Joergensen (Connovate Aps director for Production and Construction), Arch. Karsten Bro (CEO, Connovate), Fernand Imperial (chairman, Connovate Phils.).      

Engr. Ramir Padilla (president, Connovate Phils.), Peter Berg (chairman, Connovate Aps), Kaj Joergensen (Connovate Aps director for Production and Construction), Arch. Karsten Bro (CEO, Connovate), Fernand Imperial (chairman, Connovate Phils.).



“Each Connovate home can save up to 4.4 tons of CO2 emissions per 100 years. Connovate Philippines and Imperial Homes Corp. are the only companies in the country who are able to do this unprecedented move,” said Padilla.

Slim, compact and light-weight, the panels have the strength of 14,000 psi, can withstand up to 1,000-degree heat, and are resistant to molds, pests and deterioration. It is scalable to all building types and has insulation features, which make the panels perfect for different residential or commercial structures.

Connovate can also help prevent potential health problems caused by mold formation in ordinary homes. Unlike regular hollow blocks that have micro holes, each panel has a smooth surface and is made of non-porous materials to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria, which can cause health risks.