Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has given a nod to the delay in the expected completion of the metro line No. 1 project in Ho Chi Minh City.
The new completion deadline is the last quarter of 2023, two years later than previously planned.
The post-construction work will last from 2024 to 2028, during which time the contractors’ warranty period will be from 2024 to 2025.
The time for operation and maintenance support will be between 2024 and 2028.
Other contents of the project were kept unchanged and in accordance with the approved investment plan.
Following the government leader’s decision, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City will organize the execution of the project in an effective manner in accordance with the law and ensure its progress.
The city will take full responsibility for clearing difficulties and obstacles, data, allocating sufficient capital for the project, and ensuring construction progress.
In case of failing to complete the project as scheduled, the municipal People’s Committee must allocate other capital sources to complete unfinished components.
The city was also assigned to quickly review the capital demand and complete procedures to propose negotiating and signing the fourth loan agreement for the project.
City authorities were required to register with the Ministry of Planning and Investment the demand for the mid-term foreign capital sourced from the state budget for the 2021-25 period.
Metro line No. 1, the first of its kind among the eight planned metro line projects in Ho Chi Minh City, carries a price tag of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.84 billion).
It spans 19.7 kilometers from Ben Thanh Station in District 1 to Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon completion, the line will have 17 Japanese-made trains, with 51 cars in total, and can run at up to 110 kilometers per hour above ground and 80 kilometers per hour underground.
Each metro train is designed to be 61.5 meters long and can accommodate 930 passengers, including 147 sitting and 783 standing.
At the end of December 2022, metro line No. 1 successfully underwent its first test run over a distance of nine kilometers from Suoi Tien Coach Station to Binh Thai Station in Thu Duc City at under 40 kilometers per hour for safety reasons.
The second test run was conducted on January 18 this year.
Under Decision 4856/2019 approving the adjustment of the planned completion of metro line No. 1, the project was expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2021.
In its proposal for the extension of the deadline for the project completion, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee attributed the longer-than-expected construction time to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused multiple building difficulties.
In addition, negotiations for Appendix No. 19 of a consulting contract between the investor and the consultant to the project, NJPT, were time-consuming.
Moreover, this is the first metro line project to be developed in the city.
It is related to many sectors and involves various contracts with foreign partners while being affected by Vietnam’s law adjustments.
Therefore, it is needed to be cautious in execution to ensure the compliance with local regulations, international treaties, and loan agreements.