Official of China’s National Development and
Reform Commission attending the
Inauguration Ceremony of Pakistan Lahore
Orange Line Metro Railway Project
Lahore Orange Line is the first mass transit project signed and implemented under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). On October 25th, the inauguration ceremony of the project is held simultaneously in both Beijing and Lahore via video connection. Mr. Zhao Chenxin, Secretary-General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), attended and addressed the ceremony in Beijing in the company of Mr. Su Guo, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of NDRC.
The Chinese side expressed that the inauguration of the Orange Line marks the official beginning of the commercial operation of the first metro line in Pakistan. The completion and operation of the project against all the difficulties of Covid-19 pandemic is not only a great boost to local confidence in pandemic control and economic and social recovery in Pakistan but also a further enhancement to the joint determination of the two countries in developing CPEC with high quality. It is expected that cooperating companies from China and Pakistan could work closer together to operate the line in a safe and smooth manner, to contribute further to social and economic development, and to deliver more benefits to the local people.
The Pakistani side stressed that the Orange Line is the first ever high-end and environmental-friendly mass transit line in Pakistan. The line will not only bring great convenience to the day-to-day transportation of local people in Lahore, but also carry far-reaching significance to the social and economic development of the Punjab province.
The Orange Line is located in Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan. It is 27-km-long and has 26 stations. The project was signed on April 20th, 2015 at the witness of China’s President Xi Jinping, and worth 1.6 billion US dollars. The project is jointly contracted by China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. and China North Industries Corporation Ltd., jointly implemented by China Railway International Co.,Ltd. and Norinco International Co.,Ltd., and financed by the Export-Import Bank of China.
During five years of construction and following the requirement of “promoting the CPEC construction with high quality”, the joined team of China and Pakistan has worked together to overcome multiple difficulties such as tight schedule, poor infrastructure and environmental safety risks. In February 2020, Norinco International and Guangzhou Metro Group as well as Pakistan’s DW company formed a joint venture and signed an 8-year operation contract. The whole project was completed and successfully handed over to the Operation and Maintenance contractor in October.
The Orange Line is a project using Chinese standards, technology and equipment. It is also the first time that the whole industrial chain of China’s metro system from design, manufacturing, construction to operation and maintenance is adopted overseas. The project created over 7000 local jobs during construction and will continue to employ 2000 people for operation and maintenance.
As a flagship project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Orange Line serves as an “economic aorta” of the Lahore city providing fast, efficient and safe transportation to over 12 million people. It will further promote the development of CPEC, and become an additional embodiment of China-Pakistan friendship.