Cat Linh-Hadong metro line to come into commercial operation in 2018

The Cat Linh-Hadong Metro Line, Hanoi's first urban railway project, will have to begin commercial operation this year thanks to the disbursement of an additional loan of $250.6 million from Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank).

The project is 95 per cent finished and the remaining hurdles will be tackled through the disbursement of the last loan

This was announced by Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong. Dong stated that the delay in disbursement of the additional loan was a major barrier delaying the project.

To date, the disbursement has been approved, the construction of almost all stages is completed, and the investor has imported all equipment, thus, there is no reason for delay in putting the project into operation, according to newswire Dantri.

Dong asked the Project Management Unit to closely monitor the Chinese contractor’s implementation of the remaining stages.

“If problems arise, the PMU needs to report to the Ministry of Transport to find a solution. This month, the ministry will send a report on the project’s progress to the government to ensure the deadline for commercial operation,” Dong added.

The additional loan of $250.6 million was approved by the bank and the Vietnamese government three years ago, however, it was not until May 2017 that the two parties managed to sign an agreement. After that, the Ministry of Transport, the representative of the government, negotiated with Eximbank about the legal procedures for disbursement, but the two parties failed to reach a compromise for a long time.

The project’s construction was kicked off in October 2011 with an initial estimated investment capital sum of $552 million under an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contract. It had originally been scheduled for completion in 2013.

The 13-kilometre Cat Linh-Hadong elevated railway will have 12 stations and a depot linking Dong Da district’s Cat Linh Street and Hadong district’s Yen Nghia Bus Station. Once completed, the trains will transport up to 2,110 passengers at an average speed of 35 and a maximum of 80 kilometres per hour.

However, the construction of the project was delayed numerous times. At present, around 95 per cent of the project has been completed, while the remaining 5 per cent depended greatly on the disbursement of the remaining $250.6 million.

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By Ha Vy