The budget overrun in the construction of the South Island Line (East) may reach as high as HK$220 million, according to a new document prepared by the Transport and Housing Bureau.

The progress update, which was submitted to the Legislative Council on Wednesday, stated that 93 percent of the construction has been completed as of December 2015, compared to the planned project completion rate of 93.9 percent.

Some delays were reported in the Admiralty Station expansion project. It also said that the MTR is expecting the budget overrun to further increase from an earlier estimate of HK$190 million to HK$220 million.

Ocean Park station
Construction of the Ocean Park Station. Photo: WikiCommons.

The MTR Corporation told HKFP that the increase in construction costs was due to “unforeseen complicated underground utilities encountered in the Wong Chuk Hang area”, as well as a rise in labour costs.

The company also said that the target opening time of the South Island Line (East) remains at the end of 2016.

The South Island Line (East) is a new MTR rail line that will run between Admiralty and South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau. Construction work has been underway since 2011. The line will have three intermediate stops, including Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung, in Hong Kong’s southern district. Three-car trains, which were earlier ordered from China’s Changchun Railway Vehicles, will be used on the line.

South Island Line
South Island Line. Photo: WikiCommons.

HKFP has reached out to Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of the transport panel in the Legislative Council, to comment on the report.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).