There aren’t many things harder than trying to stain Macau’s copybook. A new light rail scheme that’s being constructed is doing just that. After seeing how much of a success it was in Shelbyville and to a lesser extent Springfield, Macau decided it was for them. Now a full four years since the first budget was produced the country has once again had to revise their estimates.
The first phase of the project has now been given a revised budget of MOP11 billion (US$1.4bn). According to the Transportation Infrastructure Office that’s a full 47% increase from the last revised budget in 2009. It’s almost 200% more than the original budget in 2007 of MOP4.2bn. Rising currency exchange costs and the continued optimization and adjustments to route designs are given as reasons for the increased in costs. Construction begins later this year on the project that will connect Macau, Taipa and Cotai via 21 different stations. Macau’s light rail system will then be ready for customers by 2015. It does mean that the much-criticized infrastructure may start to get up to speed though.
There is also confusion on the enclave as to whether Melco Crown is going to include a casino at Macau Studio City. Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si didn’t disclose whether it would or not when talking yesterday. Although he did stress again that the project must comply with the revised development plan approved by local authorities in 2008. He did stress that, “no casino was included in the land concession contract.”
Melco Crown announced they were taking a sizeable stake in Studio City earlier this month and it would be a surprise if they didn’t include a casino.