HCMC to resume contract with Japanese metro consultant at $73 mln

By Gia Minh   April 8, 2022 | 03:05 am PT
HCMC to resume contract with Japanese metro consultant at $73 mln
A metro car built in Japan is delivered at Khanh Hoi Port in HCMC for the city's metro line No.1 on March 11, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
HCMC will spend VND1.67 trillion ($73 million) to continue the consultancy service for its long-delayed metro line No.1.

City Chairman Phan Van Mai signed the decision to resume the service with the metro line's consulting unit, NJPT, a consortium led by Japan's Nippon Koei, on Wednesday.

As he requested, the project's investor, the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), must boost progress to prevent the project from continuing to fall behind schedule now that the consultant is back in business.

With the city's latest decision, the MAUR can now sign Appendix No.19 with the NJPT.

The appendix will allow the Japanese consultant to resume its course to train drivers and staff to operate the line.

MAUR had signed a contract with NJPT for the Japanese consortium to undertake general consultancy for metro line No.1 in 2007.

The consulting process was divided into five phases: basic design and building bidding files, organizing bidding, post-contract period (including work on design review, construction supervision), maintenance, and maintenance consulting phase.

That contract was signed based on the original schedule of the project being completed in 2015.

After several delays, the project was set to be completed at the end of 2021 and enter commercial operations this year but was delayed again due to pandemic impacts.

The delays had forced the investor and the consultant to add as many as 19 appendixes to their contract.

The payment for the training course belongs to Appendix no. 19, for which the two sides have already completed negotiations.

In January last year, NJPT put on hold a course to train drivers and staff for the metro that it organized in collaboration with Hanoi's Vietnam Railway College as the payment for teachers and the school could only be made after the appendix is signed.

Six months later, the Japanese consortium continued to suspend more consultancy services for the metro project, including installing the information technology system for the line.

Ho Chi Minh City’s metro line No.1 will run 19.7 kilometers to connect Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City with three underground and 11 elevated stations.

Work on the much-delayed line, which began in 2012, is now 89 percent complete.

The city had hoped to begin commercial operations by the end of this year, but the Covid-19 outbreak has delayed it until next year.

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