HCMC preparing for construction of Metro Line 2: Ben Thanh – Tham Luong

Seeing that the construction project for Metro Line 1 from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien is coming to the end, the local authorities of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are preparing for the launch of another metro line building project from Ben Thanh to Tham Luong in District 12.

The map for Metro Line 2: Ben Thanh – Tham Luong
The map for Metro Line 2: Ben Thanh – Tham Luong

Metro Line 2 (Ben Thanh – Tham Luong) is one of the longest, with the length of 48km. The first phase, which is 11.2km long is to answer the traveling needs of residents in HCMC from the downtown to the Northwest area and vice versa. It is also the foundation for other similar modern urban railways built in the future.

Head of Division No.2 in the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) Le Van khoa reported that premise clearance for Metro Line 2 construction project has reached over 75 percent, with nearly 100 percent of legal procedure completed.

The districts of Tan Phu, 10, and 12 basically finish their premise clearance task, while the People’s Committee of districts 1, 3, and Tan Binh keep mobilizing related residents to clear the site for this important project.

In 2021, MAUR is going to prepare necessary building facilities for the project and reestablish residential infrastructure (water supply, sewage system, electric grid, green space, street lighting, traffic signs) for the public needs.

At the moment, MAUR is promoting the bidding process for construction and monitoring packages in the period of 2021-2022, followed by the building of the main parts in the project from 2022. In particular, the two packages of CP3a and CP3b (tunnels and underground stations) are to be started then.

From 2023-2024, the design, digging and construction of station walls will be kicked off, with the priority for Station 7 at Bay Hien Intersection and Station 10 on Pham Van Bach Street. Premises will be cleared to have sufficient space to site 4 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). These machines will be used from 2024 to dig from Station 7 to Station 1 (Ben Thanh) and Station 5 (Le Thi Rieng).

From 2025-2026, work will be done to complete all underground stations. Simultaneously, the digging and foundation treatment at Tham Luong Depot will be carried out, along with the construction of the transition structure from the underground to elevated section, the viaduct, elevated Station 11 (Tan Binh), the infrastructure at Tham Luong Depot.

The detailed design of the electromechanical items in the system like cars, signal information, 110kV power stations, depot devices, and the control center will be introduced in 2026 as well, followed by a technical test at the end of that year.

For the project to smoothly launch, MAUR is working with sponsors to use the technical support capital by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to hire professional consultants for the bidding of CS2B package since the Credit Institute for Reconstruction (or Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KFW) is not able to prepare this amount.

At present, MAUR is discussing with IC Consultation certain conditions before formally negotiating the main content of the Appendix for Contract No.13.

At the same time, after receiving instruction from the Ministry of Construction about applying transition regulations in updating the package’s estimated cost, MAUR requested the appraisal board to adjust corresponding guidelines to become the foundation for next steps.

MAUR also suggested the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment should help HCMC People’s Committee to prepare the response to the Ministry of Planning and Investment about the status of using capital from KFW, ADB, and European Investment Bank (EIB); and to ask for an extension of loans from KFW.

The HCMC Department of Finance stated that there is no ground for HCMC People’s Committee to allocate the state regular disposable budget to MAUR in order to hire legal consultation for urban railway projects.

Therefore, MAUR asked that HCMC People’s Committee at least allow MAUR to hire legal consultation service for contract negotiation and management regarding construction packages of Metro Line 2, with fee taken from the reciprocal capital of the project.

The design appraisal and approval procedure will be delivered soon by the HCMC Department of Construction.

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