Hanoi metro set to miss yet another deadline

By Dat Nguyen   October 24, 2019 | 07:04 pm PT
Hanoi metro set to miss yet another deadline
A conductor operates the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro train during a trial run in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The contractor of Hanoi’s first metro line wants to hand over the project by December 31, but the Transport Ministry says it’s unlikely.

The ministry said in a recent report to the National Assembly that there were still items on the list that the Chinese contractor has not checked off for the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line.

The contractor, China Railway Sixth Group Co Ltd, has imported 99 percent of equipment needed for the project, and their installation is now at 97 percent.

But the contractor has not provided all safety certificates for equipment installed and the consortium tasked with safety evaluation has not been able to complete its task.

The Ministry of Transport has proposed that the consortium, comprising of French firms Apave, Certifier and Tricc, award the project a temporary safety certificate so it can start commercial operations run soon.

Apave-Certifier-Tricc said earlier this month that a complete evaluation could take another six months, which means the metro will not begin commercial operation until next year, even though Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has set a deadline for this year.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, have stalled it for years.

The metro eventually entered the testing phase in March with all 13 cars carrying out trial runs on both lines. The ministry wanted commercial operations to begin at the end of April, but this deadline too was missed.

Project costs have more than doubled from the original VND8.8 trillion ($378 million) to VND18 trillion ($774 million), according to state auditors.

The line now has one percent work remaining, mainly outlook finishing. When complete, the country’s first metro line will run 13 kilometers from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia Station in southwest Ha Dong District.

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