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Mar 16, 2023 / 22:05

Hanoi's second metro line delayed again

The commissioning of the France-funded metro line project has been delayed nine times.

Hanoi's authorities have been seeking Government approval to again postpone the commercial operation date of an elevated section of the Nhon-Hanoi Station subway project, the second of its kind in the city, to August this year instead of the end of last year as planned.

This is the ninth time the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line has been delayed. Under the revised plan, Hanoi expects to complete the Nhon depot in May 2023, conduct trial operations from May to the end of June 2023, and carry out inspection and delivery and safety certification in August this year.

The city has also proposed postponing the operation of the entire line until 2027, excluding 24 months of maintenance.

Municipal authorities blame the delay on the limited capacity of contractors, investors and consulting units, as well as insufficient cooperation from relevant agencies. Other reasons include issues related to regulations, standards, unit prices, materials, and specialized equipment for the metro line.

A train is in a test run on the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line in late 2022. Photo: Pham Cong/The Hanoi Times

If the line is put into operation by 2027, the total investment of the entire line would suffer a cost overrun of VND1.9 trillion (US$80.44 million). The line's investment will rise from VND18 trillion ($765 million) to more than VND34.8 trillion ($1.5 billion). Once approved, this will be the second time the project's budget has been adjusted. The first time, in 2014, the total investment increased from VND18 trillion to nearly VND33 trillion ($1.4 billion).

At a meeting between the Hanoi People's Committee and relevant agencies in August last year, the Prime Minister called for the elevated section of the metro line to be completed by the end of 2022 and for solutions to be found to cut in half the time required to complete the underground section, from the proposed 2027.

Work on the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line project, the second in the capital after Cat Linh-Ha Dong, began in September 2010 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2016.

Currently, the line is about 75.6% complete, with 97.6% of the work on the elevated section and 33% of the work on the underground section.

The line will run 12.5 kilometers from Nhon Station in Nam Tu Liem District to Hanoi Central Station. The elevated section from Nhon to Cau Giay is 8.5 km long and the underground section from Cau Giay to Hanoi station is 4 km long. The depot in Nhon covers an area of 15 hectares.

The project was financed with ODA funds from the French Government, the French Development Agency, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and domestic counterpart funds.

It is one of 10 metro lines planned for Hanoi by 2030, with a total length of 417 km. The capital's first line named Cat Linh-Ha Dong which was built by Chinese contractors came into operation in November 2021 after more than 10 years of construction and several delays.