Lisbon Metro Expansion to cost 222 million more than expected

Financial analysis

The works on three lines of the Lisbon Metro will cost 222.8 million euros more than the initial estimate, an increase justified by rising prices, according to two resolutions published today in the Official Gazette.

At stake is the expansion of the Red line, budgeted in November 2020 at 304 million euros (ME), revised value now to 405.4 ME, and the extension of the Yellow and Green lines, with a view to the construction of a circular line, with a planned investment in 2018 of 210 million euros, but that has since risen to 331.4 million euros.

The two projects were initially budgeted, according to accounts of the Lusa agency, in 514 million euros, a sum that increases, according to the diplomas published today, to 736.8 million euros, which adds the value of VAT, which means a rise in costs of 43%.

The resolutions of the Council of Ministers, signed by the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, justify the review of investment, in the case of the red line, with the “updating of prices occurred between the completion” of the feasibility study in November 2020, and “the time when it is estimated to start the procedure for public procurement of the contract in 2022”, which translates into “an increase in total investment cost of 101.4 million euros”.

Regarding the extension of the Yellow and Green lines, the plan had a cost, according to a resolution of the Council of Ministers of December 2018, of 210 million euros, a value revised in June 2021 to 240 ME, following “vicissitudes that determined an increase in the costs involved in the implementation of the various projects”, based on “the change in the construction and public works market”, coupled with “the times of the public procurement procedures in question”, which made the previously authorized values “insufficient”.

Now, the government justifies the revision of the investment to 331.4 million euros with “various vicissitudes” during the course of the works that could not be anticipated, “such as geological peculiarities not detected in the surveys carried out and inconsistencies between the cadastral surveys and surveys that preceded the works,” which forced “temporary vacancies, expropriations, and reinforcements of existing buildings.

“Currently, and considering that the difficulties in the supply chains and the circumstances resulting from the pandemic of the covid-19 disease, materials and labor, with special emphasis on the construction sector, which generated sudden and unpredictable growth in prices, which has consequences not only on the price review of contracts under execution, but also on the base prices of the contracting procedures to be initiated, it is concluded that the authorized values are insufficient,” the executive also justifies.