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Completion of HCMC’s First Metro Line Delayed 2 Years

While construction seems to be in full swing on Saigon’s first metro line, city officials have announced that completion of the project has been pushed back by two years. Oh, and costs have nearly doubled from initial estimates, reports Thanh Nien.

When Ho Chi Minh City officials approved the plan for the 20-kilometer Suoi Tien – Ben Thanh line in 2007, the budget was US$1.4 billion. Citing “design adjustments and 'objective' hikes in prices and wages”, this figure was revised to US$2.49 billion back in 2011 but was just released to the public in a “recent statement”.

“The HCMC People’s Committee linked the swelling costs to 'objective fluctuations' in fuel and material prices as well as an increase in the minimum wage between 2006 and 2009. Additional constructions designed to increase the project’s effectiveness also raised the cost, the city government said,” according to Thanh Nien.

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Official development assistance from the Japanese government will cover US$2.2 billion of the cost, with the remainder paid for by the city government.

And what amounted to a footnote in the Thanh Nien article, the completion date for the project has been pushed back from 2018 to 2020.

Given that construction on the underground portion of the line has barely started, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this date pushed back again in the future.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s probably because last month a nearly identical announcement was made concerning metro Line 2.

The full realization of Saigon's metro system seems like a dream at this point.


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