Hanoi seeks to increase investment cost of metro line approved 15 years ago

By Doan Loan   January 23, 2024 | 08:57 pm PT
The total investment for Nam Thang Long - Tran Hung Dao metro line in Hanoi has been proposed at VND35.6 trillion (US$1.44 billion), up 82% from when the line was approved in 2008.

Hanoi People's Committee has asked the government to consider an adjustment to the investment policy for the project, raising the total cost by VND16 trillion compared to amount approved in 2008.

The proposed sum includes almost VND30 trillion in official development loans and around VND6 trillion in counterpart funds from Hanoi’s state budget.

The two items with the largest increase in funding are construction costs (rising by over VND6.67 trillion) and equipment costs (increasing by over VND2.75 trillion).

The increase is due to fluctuations in fuel prices, materials, equipment, labor costs, and wages, as well as currency exchange rates, the committee said.

Hanoi's leaders explain that the feasibility study report for the project was prepared in the 2007-2008 period. The funding determination by the consulting unit was based only on the investment rates of similar projects already being built elsewhere in Asia.

Additionally, although the compatibility with the construction conditions and price levels in Hanoi in 2008 was put into consideration, due to a lack of practical experience, the calculations did not fully consider safety requirements, nor did they account for operation, exploitation, or maintenance.

Regarding the completion time, the Hanoi People's Committee proposes implementing the project by 2031, including two years of training and maintenance.

An artists impression of C9 underground station of Nam Thang Long - Tran Hung Dao metro line. Photo by Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board

An artist's impression of C9 underground station of Nam Thang Long - Tran Hung Dao metro line. Photo by Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board

Hanoi also proposes keeping the same length of the line as previously approved at 11.5 km, but changing the elevated section from 8.5 km to 8.9 km and reducing the underground section from 3 km to 2.6 km.

Moreover, it wants to reduce the number of trains from 14 to 10 and expand the land use area of the project from 49 to 51 hectares.

Regarding construction of the C9 underground station, which was once feared to affect Sword Lake, Hanoi People's Committee stated that the construction plan for the station beneath Dinh Tien Hoang Street does not violate the protection zone of the lake and does not affect the safety of cultural constructions, preserving historical, cultural, and architectural values, and has been carefully studied and agreed upon by related ministries and sectors.

The metro line project was approved by Hanoi People's Committee in 2008 and construction was slated to last from 2009 to 2015.

But the project is still at the stage of completing investment procedures, with little progress on the ground.

Strategically planned to connect several key districts and reduce travel time across the city, the line will eventually connect Nam Thang Long residential area in the city’s north and Tran Hung Dao intersection in the downtown area.

Hanoi’s only operational metro, the Cat Linh – Ha Dong line, went into service in November 2021.

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