Macau | Gov’t refuses to reassess LRT depot contract despite court decision

Macau (MNA) – The Office for Transport Infrastructure (GIT) announced this Wednesday that it will not follow a court decision to re-evaluate the contract bids for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) train depot construction, since the works have almost been concluded and complying with the court decision would further delay the opening of the Taipa metro line.

In July, the Court of Final Appeal (TUI) ruled in favour of re-awarding the contract for the metro depot construction, claiming mistakes had been made in evaluating the proposals from the seven companies who were invited to apply for the original tender.

The contract had initially been granted for MOP1.07 billion (US$132.40 million) to China Construction Engineering (Macau) Co./Companhia de Engenharia e de Construção da China (Macau) Limitada in 2016, with the company now expected to complete the works despite the court having decided the contract was handled wrongfully.

‘More than 90 per cent of the depot construction contract has been completed. What remains to be done are final adjustments, tests and inspections. It is expected that this contract will be completed by the end of this year,’ the GIT said today.

According to the GIT, the LRT depot central hub contract was to be re-awarded for completing such a ‘small part’ of the project, the time needed for the administrative procedures involved, for mobilising personnel, machinery and equipment and for the transfer of work. The Office, thus, claimed that granting a new contract would have a serious impact on the planned 2019 deadline for the line opening.

Therefore, the GIT stated that ‘despite respecting the court’s decision,’ since the depot construction is almost completed and that carrying out the court decision to re-evaluate the previous bids would ‘seriously impact public interest,’ it will invoke ‘legitimate cause for not following the decision’ allowed in the Macau SAR Government administration procedural clauses.

The government has recently revealed that its most recent budget for the LRT system, excluding the Macau Peninsula line, is set at MOP16.4 billion, without including court disputes and other contracts or legal payments and compensations.