MTR confirms couplers used in Shatin-Central Link project is 44% more than contract-stated following FactWire’s report in Feb.

The Highways Department replied to FactWire last Thursday that, according to an assessment by the MTR consultancy, approximately 260,000 couplers were actually used for the Hung Hom extension works of the Shatin to Central Link project under Contract 1112. This is 44% more than 179,925, the amount originally specified in the contract.

Government

[Follow-up] The Highways Department replied to FactWire last Thursday that, according to an assessment by the MTR consultancy, approximately 260,000 couplers were actually used for the Hung Hom extension works of the Shatin to Central Link project under Contract 1112. This is 44% more than 179,925, the amount originally specified in the contract.

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FactWire reported in February an over-provision of couplers that doubled what was specified in the original contract. At that time, the Highways Department only confirmed there was a discrepancy, without disclosing an exact amount.

According to the audit by a consultancy company MTR employed, approximately 260,000 couplers were actually used in the project, which was around 80,000 more than the amount projected in the contract. The excess was due to design and construction adjustments in consideration of the actual procedures and methods applied in the Hung Hom station extension work and Hung Hom Stabling Sidings construction, said the Highways Department in its reply.

The Department added that payment is made based on the amount required by the design and the actual use of materials, according to the mechanism stated in Contract 1112. The government does not have to pay for the extra materials that the contractor purchased by itself. Thus, MTR would only pay its contractor for the couplers actually used.

The Department said the audit report, as a document of the MTR, could not be published because of confidentiality required by the contract.

FactWire found in February that the amount of couplers provisioned for the Hung Hom extension works of the Shatin to Central Link project doubled what was specified in the original contract, raising the contract price from HKD 17 million to HKD 33 million. The Highways Department told FactWire at that time that it was first aware of the discrepancy two years ago, thus requested MTR to offer an explanation with a report expected to have been completed by the first quarter of 2021.

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