Lisbon, Porto Metro extensions to cost another €500 million

Cost increases largely down to inflation

Portugal’s secretary of state for urban mobility has acknowledged that works on the metro systems of Lisbon and Porto may cost an extra €500 million, stressing additional costs “will be covered“.

“In this figure of €1.7 billion, we are talking about a final figure that will be close to €500 or €600 million over budget,” said Jorge Delgado in an interview with Antena 1 and Jornal de Negócios.

Delgado stressed that the difference is due to two factors that are “very well-identified”: “costs associated with the start of construction, even before construction begins when mitigation measures have to be introduced, and price revision costs resulting from this exceptional inflation.

Asked if the totals could increase even further, he acknowledged that they could, since, as a rule, “the final price of any public work is usually higher than initially predicted.

“It can, it can increase naturally, as any public work that is done has a way of revising the price, the final value is usually slightly higher,” he acknowledged.

At the end of February, addressing journalists during a visit to works on the tunnel that will link the future stations of Estrela and Santos in Lisbon, minister for the environment and climate action Duarte Cordeiro said that extending the network by 18 kms, between the extension of the Yellow line, the extension of the Red line and the new Violet line, which will link Loures and Odivelas, will represent an investment of over €1 billion.

On May 5,  president of Metro do Porto, Tiago Braga, said that the cost of the works for the construction of the Rubi line has risen by about 50% to €450 million, compared to the €299 million initially planned.

In an interview with Antena 1 and Jornal de Negócios, Delgado said that the additional costs “will be covered”, namely through the Recovery and Resilience Plan (financed by Brussels) and its reprogramming “or, alternatively, through the budget or the Environmental Fund”.

The interview gave the impression of some confidence, albeit SIC television news has since stressed: “The doubt now is knowing whether the overspend will be totally covered by European funds, or only partially”.

Jorge Delgado also let slip in his interview that the State’s contribution to the purchase of electric cars may end – defending, says Lusa, an evolution towards a “more universal” incentive in terms of the cost of charging so that “it could still go down further.

“We kept the incentive in the last two years, and the sales of electric cars have skyrocketed. The purchase option is not completely linked to the incentive,” he said, acknowledging, however, that the subsidies had a “fundamental role at the beginning of the process” since they had helped in the decision-making process.

Source material: LUSA