The Metro Line No. 2, Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien, is under construction (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - HCM City is asking for the government's approval to accept a new engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor who would be responsible for moving technical infrastructure for the Metro Line No 2 project.

Line 2 links Ben Thanh station in District 1 to Tham Luong station in District 12 in the suburbs.

The city wants to look for a contractor while it adjusts the plan for Line 2 to help save time and ensure the project's schedule.

The HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways will submit its plan under a new bidding law passed by the National Assembly on November 26, 2013 to the Government for approval.

The Ben Thanh-Tham Luong metro section is 11.33km long.

It was originally slated to be built from 2010 to 2018 at a total cost of 26.1 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD).

This amount included 540 million USD from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 313 million USD from the German Development Bank (KfW), 195 million USD from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and over 326 million USD from Vietnam's reciprocal capital.

However, the project costs last year surged by 51 percent to 2.07 billion USD after design revisions. That amount does not cover the Ben Thanh Station and its operation and maintenance costs.

The city's Management Authority for Urban Railways attributed the rise in costs to inflation, higher wages and prices of materials and an increased workload.

Due to adjustments for site clearance and compensation for construction of stations, work did not begin until early last year on the section's final station and control building.

The project is now expected to be delayed until 2019, one year behind schedule.

Total Official Development Assistance (ODA) disbursed from the beginning of 2015 until January 15, 2016 reached nearly 108 billion VND (4.8 million USD), and Vietnamese reciprocal capital was 8 billion VND (360.000 USD).-VNA