Date
23 November 2017
MTR Corp. chief executive Lincoln Leong (right) says construction delays have been mainly due to problems in building the West Kowloon Terminal and a new cross-harbor tunnel. Photo: HKEJ
MTR Corp. chief executive Lincoln Leong (right) says construction delays have been mainly due to problems in building the West Kowloon Terminal and a new cross-harbor tunnel. Photo: HKEJ

MTR eyes multi-tier funding for HK section of national rail

MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) is considering multi-tier funding for the Hong Kong section of the national high-speed railway, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

It is expected to complete a review of costs next quarter, including details of a funding scheme proposed by independent advisers amid ballooning expenses.

The project has overshot its budget by HK$6.5 billion from a July estimate of HK$71.52 billion (US$9.21 billion).

Delays have plagued construction, potentially ramping up the final tab to as much as HK$85 billion, more than HK$20 billion over budget, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

Newly appointed chief executive Lincoln Leong said the significant increase in costs is largely due to construction problems on the West Kowloon Terminal and on a new cross-harbor tunnel.

Delays have set back construction on the Sha Tin-Central Link, the Kwun Tong Line extension and South Island Line, the report said.

These have been exacerbated by a lengthy approval process for a joint customs checkpoint, Leong said.

At the end of last year, only 66 percent of construction work had been finished, pushing back completion to the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the railway operator said it will spend HK$50 billion in the three years to 2016 including HK$15 billion each on property investment and railway construction but excluding the high-speed rail link and the Sha Tin-Central Link. 

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 17. 

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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