26 February 2002
Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line
In response to media enquiries regarding KCRC’s intention to invite a single tender to build the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, a spokeman for the KCRC issued the following statement.
During the course of KCRC’s appeal against the refusal by the Director of Environmental Protection to issue an environmental permit under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, consideration was given to the feasibility of building a tunnel across Long Valley which would link Sheung Shui with Pak Shek Au.
Following the handing down of the judgement of the EIA Appeal Board on 30 July 2001, it became clear that the only practical way forward was to pursue the tunnel option. This option was endorsed by both Executive Council and KCRC’s Managing Board in September 2001.
Having regard to the urgency of the Spur Line and to facilitate the EIA process, KCRC engaged Dragages et Travaux Publics (HK) Ltd., the contractor which built the West Rail tunnels, to establish the feasibility of building a bored tunnel between Sheung Shui and Pak Shek Au. Dragages was also asked to retain its tunnel boring machine in Hong Kong. There is, however, no commitment whatsoever on the part of KCRC to enter into a contract with Dragages.
In January 2002, the management of KCRC proposed to the Managing Board that a contract be awarded to Dragages for the construction of this tunnel, having regard to the urgency of this project. The Managing Board decided, however, that the proposal be set aside for the time being.
When revisiting this matter at its meeting held yesterday (25 February 2002), the Managing Board directed the management of KCRC to work out the details of a scheme by which the tunnel could be built as soon as possible, by way of competitive tendering.
Action is now being taken to invite expressions of interest from contractors, as a prelude to pre-qualification and, ultimately, competitive tendering.
It is not envisaged that any contract for the construction of the tunnel would be awarded until a permit has been obtained from the Director of Environmental Protection, and the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line has been formally endorsed by the Chief Executive in Council.