06.07.2020, 12:00

Chinese experts resume work on Hanoi metro project

Chinese experts resume work on Hanoi metro project
The long-delayed Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line, the first of its kind in Hanoi, is scheduled to be put into operation this year

The experts originally arrived in Vietnam over two weeks ago where they were immediately placed into quarantine at the project’s depot in Ha Dong district. They have since tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and meet the necessary standards to return to work, according to a representative of the Project Management Board.

The first task of the specialists will be to carry out all incomplete work and deal with relevant paperwork ahead of the metro line running on a trial basis, said the representative.

“However, nobody knows exactly when the test-run will be conducted as we have to wait for all Chinese experts and French consultants to come here and examine the project,” the representative outlined.

“We do not know either when exactly they will come because the COVID-19 pandemic is currently evolving in a complex manner in a number of countries. We do hope however that they will return to Vietnam this month.”

The Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line was first granted approval by the Ministry of Transport back in October, 2008, and received a total capitalisation of more than VND12.86 trillion, equivalent to US$552 million. The line runs more than 13km from Cat Linh Station in Dong Da district to Yen Nghia Station southwest of Ha Dong district.

The project initially got off the ground in October, 2011, and was initially scheduled for completion in 2013. Construction has been delayed several times due to loan disbursement issues and adjustments. The project saw its investment cost overrun to VND18,000 trillion, equivalent to US$868 million, including US$669.6 million in official development assistance loan from China.

Last month Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc requested that the Ministry of Transport, the Hanoi municipal administration, and general contractors strive to speed up progress on the line to ensure the project, with 99% of its workload complete, will be put into commercial operation this year.