Hanoi’s five-year-delayed sky train misses yet another deadline as funds from China dry up

By Doan Loan   September 17, 2017 | 09:54 pm PT
Hanoi’s five-year-delayed sky train misses yet another deadline as funds from China dry up
One of the stations of Hanoi's elevated railway Cat Linh-Ha Dong. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
Work will not be completed until China coughs up the $250 million in ODA it agreed to loan Vietnam last year.

Hanoi’s first elevated railway line running from Cat Linh to Ha Dong, to the north of Hanoi, is going to miss its trial departure once again due to loan disbursement issues with the Chinese government that are holding back construction.

The project was scheduled for a test run in September, but that was put back by a month. The latest date for a test run has not been set, and only a few workers have been seen on site in recent days.

The project managers said parts of the track and barriers are running behind schedule.

According to the main contractor, the state-owned China Railway Sixth Group Co., delayed disbursment of $250 million in official development assistance (ODA) from China, the last payment of a loan agreed on last year, has held up the project. Many subcontractors and suppliers have not been paid.

Nguyen Ngoc Dong, vice minister of transport, said at a meeting last week that the ministry will ask the Chinese embassy in Hanoi to work with the contractor to avoid further setbacks.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway, which will run over more than 13 kilometers (8 miles), started in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including issues with the Chinese contractor, have been stalling the project for years.

The original cost estimate of $552.86 million has also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.

Take a cursory look over this much-anticipated sky train.

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