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Construction of Hanoi's Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line to resume

Released at: 17:46, 30/12/2017

Construction of Hanoi's Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line to resume

Photo from tienphong.vn

Disbursement issues with Chinese Government now resolved, with work to re-commence shortly.

by Quang Huy

Having been through three generations of transport ministers, work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line in Hanoi will now continue after loan disbursement issues with the Chinese Government were resolved.

China’s Eximbank completed the necessary procedures on December 28 to disburse $250 million for the project, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong.

“The money has been received, the railway is completed, equipment is already on its way, so you can’t say ‘because of this, because of that’ anymore,” Minister Dong told a meeting with the project management board on December 29. “There are no more reasons for further delays. We’ve told the Chinese side that the project has been through three generations of ministers and they need to speed it up. The ministry is focusing on this project.”

Stressing the need for the railway to be opened in 2018, Mr. Dong instructed the project management board to work closely with the Chinese contractor in installing equipment such as fire-fighting, signaling, and electronic systems. The board must not let the contractor do the work alone, and any problems that arise must be reported to the ministry immediately.

According to the management board, 95 per cent of the project’s construction works have been completed. As the loan disbursement issues have been resolved, the board has urged the main contractor to finalize any remaining contracts and payments with sub-contractors.

The board has also asked the main contractor to replace incompetent sub-contractors that may affect the project’s progress.

The transport ministry plans to report on the progress of the project’s construction to the government in January. The main contractor, the State-owned China Railway Sixth Group Co., currently estimates that test runs could be carried out from early September 2018. After a 3-6 month testing phase, the railway would then be ready for its official launch.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line, which runs for more than 13 km, began in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including issues with the Chinese contractor, have stalled the project for a number of years.

The original cost estimate of $552.86 million has also ballooned out to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.

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