Vietnam needs to pay China VND152.7 billion ($6.56 million) this year toward the loan it took to fund the first Hanoi metro line.
It obtained a loan of almost $670 million for the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro route, and already repaid VND398 billion ($17.1 million), according to a recent report to the government by the Ministry of Transport.
Since the metro has not begun commercial operations, the ministry is currently responsible for repaying the debt. Hanoi will take it over in future.
Though construction has been completed, the date for the start of commercial operations remains unknown since more than 100 Chinese experts working on it have been unable to return to Vietnam after the Lunar New Year holiday due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Work on the country’s first metro line started in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013, but loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017 and other issues stalled it for years.
The original cost estimate of $552.86 million also ballooned to more than $868 million.