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Hong Kong’s beleaguered Sha Tin-Central rail link will partially open in the first quarter of next year, according to the transport chief, but will come with added costs so big its operator issued a profit warning on Thursday.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan announced the long-anticipated opening of the first part of the city’s most expensive rail project – a section from Tai Wai to Kai Tak – and negotiations with the MTR Corporation over the ultimate bill.
The project’s total cost will balloon to a new record of at least HK$99.1 billion (US$12.6 billion) from HK$97.1 billion for the partial opening. While the MTR Corp will pay for the HK$2 billion extra costs, it will work with the government for an overall settlement for any other costs arising from problems at Hung Hom station.
The company, which is controlled by the Hong Kong government and listed in the city, issued a rare profit warning because of the added outlay.
The extra amount, which would be reflected in its profit and loss account for the first six months of this year, equalled 43 per cent of the semi-privatised firm’s underlying profit in the same period last year.
The partial opening was made possible after the government approved two separate reports compiled by the corporation over construction issues on Hung Hom platforms and missing safety documents covering three locations at the station.
This article first appeared on www.scmp.com
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