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Latest cost estimate of the works of Shatin to Central Link
     A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said that the latest cost estimate of Shatin to Central Link (SCL) project had been received from the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) today (December 5).

     The HKSAR Government signed an Entrustment Agreement with the MTRCL for the main works of SCL at a cost of $70.8 billion in May 2012.  The latest cost estimate submitted by MTRCL today is $87.3 billion, representing an increase of $16.5 billion over the original Entrustment Cost of $70.8 billion.

     The major reasons for the cost increase as stated in the letter submitted by MTRCL include: (i) the modification works, additional works and claims for associated delays arising from the archaeological findings and preservation works at Sung Wong Toi Station (previously known as To Kwa Wan Station); (ii) the additional cost arising from the delay in site handover at Wanchai North; (iii) the works at the Exhibition Centre Station for providing flexibility for the topside development.

     The Government reserves comment on the cost estimate submitted by MTRCL at this stage. The Highways Department will ask MTRCL to provide detailed information, and in collaboration with its Monitoring and Verification Consultant, critically scrutinise the estimate.  The Highways Department will critically examine the underlying assumptions and the basis of the estimate in accordance with the established practice in assessing public works projects, and ask MTRCL to provide supplementary information in the course of examination to see if there are sufficient justifications for the cost estimate.

     The Finance Committee (FC) of the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved in July 2010, February and June 2011 a total of about $8.4 billion (in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices) for the advance and protection works of SCL.  On May 11, 2012, the FC approved about $71.4 billion (in MOD prices) for the main works of SCL.  Subsequently, the Government entrusted MTRCL for the construction of the main works, and the testing and commissioning of SCL at a sum of about $70.8 billion.  On June 17, 2017, the FC approved an additional funding of about $0.85 billion for the advance railway works of SCL.  Therefore, the approved project estimate for the entire SCL project is currently about $80.7 billion (in MOD prices) in total.

     Upon completion of the examination and confirmation of the latest cost estimate, the Government will apply for additional funding from the LegCo in a timely manner, so that the rest of the works of SCL can be implemented and completed as planned.  With 79 per cent of the overall works for SCL completed as at October 31 this year, the Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section and the Hung Hom to Admiralty Section are expected to commission in mid-2019 and 2021 respectively.

     The 17-kilometre SCL consists of two sections, namely (a) Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section and (b) Hung Hom to Admiralty Section. The former is an extension of the Ma On Shan Line from Tai Wai via Southeast Kowloon to Hung Hom where it joins the West Rail Line, and the latter is an extension of the East Rail Line from Hung Hom across the Victoria Harbour to Wan Chai North and Admiralty.  SCL is a territory-wide strategic railway project and there are altogether ten stations. Apart from bringing improvements to the existing Tai Wai Station, the SCL project also involves construction of new stations or extension of existing stations at Hin Keng, Diamond Hill, Kai Tak, Sung Wong Toi, To Kwa Wan, Ho Man Tin, Hung Hom, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Admiralty. SCL extends railway service to districts currently not connected with the railway network, such as Hin Keng, Kai Tak and To Kwa Wan, hence reduces the reliance of these districts on road-based public transport. It also makes commuting between East Kowloon, New Territories East and Hong Kong Island more convenient and increases the capacity of the railway running between Shatin and Kowloon as well as across the Harbour.
Ends/Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:49
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