MTR Corp. (00066.HK) has revised the cost of the high-speed rail link to the mainland to HK$84.42 billion from a previous estimate of HK$85.3 billion, with the project now seen completed in the third quarter of 2018.
On Friday, the government will submit a request to lawmakers to approve the injection of an additional HK$19.42 billion into the project, on top of the HK$65 billion that the Legislative Council had cleared earlier.
The government also envisages another HK$182.5 million in related expenses, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
The local section of the high-speed rail link that will connect Hong Kong and Guangzhou has seen about 74.6 percent of the construction work being completed, with close to 100 percent of the tunnel works done and 62.5 percent of the terminal construction at Kowloon Station finished.
MTR had earlier sought an aggregate budget of HK$85.3 billion, including HK$2.1 billion of back-up fund, compared with the original budget of HK$65 billion plus HK1.82 billion of related government expenses.
About HK$50 billion has been spent on the project so far. The lower budget request is mainly due to reduced management fee and the back-up fund.
The new construction deadline of end-third quarter 2018 includes a six-month buffer.
While the government will inject additional funds upfront, MTR will return the money later by paying a special dividend of HK$19.51 billion to the largest shareholder.
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