Macau, China, 13 Oct -Transportation Infrastructure Office technical consultant Michael Lam Soi Hoi said Tuesday that the government planned to extend the Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) route to Zhuhai’s Hengqin border checkpoint where it could be linked up to an interchange with the future Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
Lam, that was speaking at a seminar co-hosted by the Macau Transportation and Traffic Engineering Association and The Macau Institute of Engineer, said the interchange would make travel between the two places more convenient. He also said the governments of Macau and Zhuhai were keen to build an interchange in Hengqin that would connect Macau’s LRT with Guangdong’s MRT. He admitted, however, that border checkpoint issues still needed to be sorted out.
The Macau Post Daily said today that during the seminar the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) Director Lei Chan Tong admitted that the government will delay announcing the outcome of its international tender for the supply of the rolling stock and systems for the first phase of the Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) project but guarantee that the bidding results would be announced " in the last quarter of this year".
The GIT director announced the delay on the sidelines of an LRT project seminar at the Macau Tourism Activities Centre.
"Since the bids’ contents are related to different professional fields, the proposals are still being analysed [by GIT officials]," Lei said, adding that the bids’ evaluations had taken up more time "than expected."
The GIT, which is overseen by Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io, announced in April that three bidders – Siemens-China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Consortium, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and BT-China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) LRT Consortium – had been accepted to submit their "basic lump-sum proposals", following a pre-selec-tion process.
BT stands for Bombardier Transportation. The Canadian company’s rail transportation segment includes a number of production facilities outside Canada, namely in Germany. While Bombardier and Germany’s Siemens each have partnered up with Chinese companies, Japan’s Mitsubishi is going at it alone.
The Siemens-CCECC Consortium proposal is the highest, at 6.28 billion patacas (US$ 785 million), followed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ 4.69 billion patacas (US$ 586 million) and BT CRBC LRT Consortium’s 4.56 billion patacas (US$ 570 million), according to a GIT statement in April.
According to the government, the first LRT phase will comprise 21 stations – 10 in the Macau Peninsula and 11 in Taipa and Cotai, with a total length of 21 kilometers.
The government said earlier this year it expected the first phase to be operational in 2014. The first-phase has an estimated budget of 7.5 billion patacas (US$ 937,5 million), at last year’s prices, covering the project’s "rolling stock and system" but not its maintenance costs and main-body construction.
The government launched the LRT project – known as "light metro" in Portuguese – back in 2002. Initially, construction was planned to start in 2007. The government has held a string of public consultations on the project, whose routing has been opposed by some residents.
Lei also said that the government would possibly start building the LRT system in Taipa and Cotai, adding that he expected construction to start in the second quarter of next year. He also said that three local consultancies had already started to work on the LRT route and station design in Taipa and Cotai.(MacauNews)