LRT phase one to cost MOP 11 billion

Friday, June 24, 2011
Issue 1340, Page 5
Word count: 487
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) disclosed yesterday the newest budget for the first phase of the light rapid transit (LRT) project, reflecting a 46 percent rise to MOP 11 billion from the last estimate.

GIT chief Lei Chan Tong told reporters after meeting with the Land and Public Concession Affairs Committee at the legislature that the updated estimate includes the actual construction, the MOP 4.68 billion contract to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the supply of rolling stock and the system as well as research that was conducted previously.

In 2006 and 2009, the budget was respectively MOP 4.2 billion and MOP 7.5 billion.

Lei explained that the 46 percent discrepancy when compared to the 2009 figure was mainly a result of “inflation, rising currency exchange rate and continued optimisation/adjustments of route designs”.

Since mid-2009, he said Japanese yen has appreciated over 15 percent and the material costs also soared some 20 percent.

In addition, he pointed out that the cost of rolling stock and the system was “only finalised on March 3 this year” when the GIT and Mitsubishi inked the supply contract.

He also said the MOP 7.5 billion was calculated when the LRT project was still at a “conceptual stage” and based on a “rough estimate of costs”.

The Macau route entered the detail design stage in March and the final design of the Taipa route is likely to be completed next month, according to the GIT chief.

Nevertheless, Lei was confident that further increase in the MOP 11 billion estimate is unlikely.

“In the third quarter of this year, GIT will stage open tenders for the actual construction, meaning that the budget should not see any significant adjustments, unless there are very special and unforeseeable factors,” Lei told reporters.

However, he added, “if the project continues to delay, the figure may go on rising. […] The sooner we can commence the construction, the more favourable it will be to us.”

Last month, a report from the Commission of Audit slammed the GIT for the LRT’s increasing budget, criticising the office also for not being sure of what the total investment would be.

Yesterday, Lei also reiterated that the route design through Rua de Londres and Rua Cidade do Porto, in NAPE is not possible to alter.

Meanwhile, the GIT revealed that the budget of two transport interchange facilities in Taipa and Barra would remain at around MOP 1 billion and MOP 1.31 billion respectively. These costs are not included in the LRT budget.

The financial data presented to the lawmakers yesterday showed that the GIT forecasted the operating and maintenance costs of the LRT for the first 10 years between 2015 and 2024 would amount to MOP 3.63 billion, against the total ticketing revenue of MOP 3.2 billion for the same period.

On the other hand, the daily operating expenses of the GIT totalled nearly MOP 70 million since it was established in 2008.


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