The Minister of PEHODE, Mr. George Souflias, made the following statements with regard to the Thessaloniki Metro and the Athens Metro extensions:
“I have some good news for you.
Thessaloniki Metro. This “haunted project”, the dream of the citizens of Thessaloniki will finally become a reality. The tender procedure was completed. The European Committee and the Greek Courts gave us the green light. The Contract will be signed in March and the works will commence in May.
Athens Metro. The Contract for the extension to AGHIA MARINA (HAIDARI) will be signed today and the one for the extension to Helliniko is to be signed in March. These two major projects will commence in April/May.
These projects are budgeted at 1,6 billion euros. Taking also into account the extensions to Anthoupoli and Aghia Paraskevi, whose tender procedures will be completed immediately afterwards, the cost estimate for the projects will reach a high of 1,8 billion euros. We are about to initiate the most extended integrated Metro project extension programme ever executed in Greece and one of the major ones under way in Europe! Twenty-six new stations will be constructed, thus adding 22,5 km of new line to the existing network. This is another evidence that the year 2006 is year that YPEHODE will implement major projects! I would also like to point out that the new Metro projects will be of high quality, better that the existing ones. At the same time, they are cheaper than the existing ones and of the cheapest in Europe. It is worth mentioning that for all these major projects the designs were prepared in the last two years”.
Via a letter transmitted to us by the General Manager of the Internal Market Directorate of the European Committee, we were informed that following thorough consideration given to the complaints about the Thessaloniki Metro Tender, “a conclusion was reached based on which there is no evidence to demonstrate infringement of community law relating to public contracts” and, therefore, in the following days the contract of the project will be sent to the Court of Auditors. In March, the contract will be signed and in a two-month time period the Contractor will be installed at the worksites and the construction of the project will commence.
In the first phase, the project includes 9,5 km of Metro line with 13 stations. It is estimated that it will serve 250,000 passengers on a daily basis. This project will be more extended in relation to the Athens Metro network when it was first commisssioned.
Please allow me to say that this is one of the most important achievements of the Ministry of PEHODE. And I am not saying this because I want to rejoice at this project. However, it is a major project, which will significantly improve the quality of life of the citizens of Thessaloniki.
Surely, you know that the citizens of Thessaloniki have been afflicted with its delays and the announcements dating for 15 years. This was a “haunted” project.
As to the last tender 34 objections, appeals, and complaints have been submitted to the Awarding Authority, the Greek Courts and the European Committee.Thirty-four! I think that it is the greatest number ever submitted during a tender procedure. We overcame all these problems and finally proceed with the construction of the project.
The Thessaloniki Metro will be improved in terms of quality in relation to the Athens Metro and it will be one of most modern in Europe!
The cost estimate of the project is 1 billion euros.
THE ATHENS METRO EXTENSION TO AGHIA MARINA (HAIDARI)
The contract for the construction of the Athens Metro extension towards Aghia Marina (Haidari) and Eleonas Depot was signed today. Within the next few days, the Contractor of the Construction Consortium is anticipated to be installed at the worksites for the commencement of works.
This project, budgeted at 200 million euros, enables the Metro Line 3 further extension westwards, thus reaching the western suburbs of Aghia Marina (Haidari) and Aghia Varvara.
The depot in the area of Eleonas is provided for to be completed in 2007 and Aghia Marina (Haidari) Metro extension in 2008.
This Line also includes the station to serve the area where the new soccer field of Panathinaikos is to be constructed. The station will be ready prior to the construction of the soccer field and, unless something goes wrong, the sports fans and the visitors will be served by the Metro from the first day.
As a whole, this extension is estimated to<b>serve more than 30,000 passengers on a daily basis.
THE ATHENS METRO EXTENSION TO HELLINIKO
The Contract has already been trasmitted to the Court of Auditors and its conclusion will not be delayed.
In March, the installation of the Contractor of the Constructing Consortium will commence for the addition of 5,5 km of tunnel below Vouliagmenis Avenue and the construction of 4 new Stations (Ilioupoli-Alimos- Argyroupoli-Helliniko) in the Metro network, which is provided for to be completed in the end of 2009. The cost estimate of the project is 330 million euros.
As a total, this extension is estimated to serve on a daily basis more than 80,000 passengers.
THE ATHENS METRO EXTENSIONS TOWARDS AGHIA PARASKEVI AND ANTHOUPOLI
The said projects are also under way. They are less extended than the remaining projects and their cost estimate amounts to 180 million euros, but they are still very important to the residents of the said suburbs and Attica Basin as a whole.
The projects concern HOLARGOS-NOMISMATOKOPIO-AGHIA PARASKEVI Stations, as well as ANTHOUPOLI Station. Upon completion of these projects the Metro network will cover the biggest part of the city.
Some problems have been overcome and I believe that the Contractors will have been announced by summer.
THE TIME SCHEDULES
I would like to give some clarifications concerning the project time schedules. First of all, I wish to remind you of the fact that whenever I give out on the Press some time schedules I always point out that there may be some delays due to objections or appeals that may be lodged. However, our estimates are rarely wrong. In evidence thereof, I will give you some details about the time schedules of the Metro works:
As far as Thessaloniki Metro is concerned, we had declared that a provisional Contractor would have been announced by summer 2005. Indeed, a Contractor was announced on August 19th 2005.
As far as the Metro extension to Helliniko is concerned, we had declared that a Contractor would have been announced by March 2006. Indeed, the Contractor was appointed in September 2005, i.e. 6 months earlier than expected.
As far as Aghia Marina (Haidari) Metro extension is concerned, we had declared that the Contractor would have been appointed by May 2005, but this did not happen before September 2005, i.e. there was a 4-month delay. Unfortunately, an important technical problem arose, i.e. the area underneath the depot was full of rubbish. However, the problem was addressed at the soonest possible.
The truth is that there are no delays in the three major projects, which cover 1,6 billion euros out of 1,8 billion euros, not to mention that the extension to Helliniko is 6 months ahead of the time schedule. The only delays which are absolutely justifiable are those concerning the two less extended projects, i.e. the extension to Anthoupoli and Aghia Paraskevi, whose cost estimate rises to approximately 180 million euros.
As far as Anthoupoli Station is concerned, no geological designs had been carried out throughout the tenure of the previous government. So we did it for them and it turned out that the said station should be relocated. The delay is due to the aforementioned problem. In spite of that, I reckon that a Contractor will have been appointed by June.
As far as Aghia Paraskevi Station is concerned, the shell of the said station had not been constructed, which is totally unacceptable. I believe that a Contractor will have been appointed in summer.
These are the delays some of you always refer to!
We are ready to initiate the most extended Metro works project ever implemented in Greece or currently under implementation in Europe! The cost estimate of these projects amount to 1,8 billion euros. 26 new stations will be constructed, thus adding 22,5 km of new line.
I am very pleased and very proud of this. I wish to congratulate all those who worked in the Ministry of PEHODE and in ATTIKO METRO S.A. so that we may be able to talk about all this now. All of them made their best!. To be honest with you, the Press did not assist us in this attempt as much as we would really need.
I refer to the issue of the objections. The objections that would delay the implementation of the works. I inform you that the total of the objections relating to these five tender procedures rises to 92.
Under these unfavorable circumstances, the executives of YPEHODE and ATTIKO METRO managed to have the Metro major tenders completed at the possible possible. I believe that they managed to do something really difficult to be achieved!
Moreover, I read that no objections were filed in the past as to the Metro works. When the Metro cost 110 million euros per km no objections were filed, but now that the Metro costs 75 million euros per km, objections are filed. You can draw you own conclusions.
THE METRO EXTENSION TO PIRAEUS
As I have already told you, the Athens Metro network extension will continue with the implementation of the second generation of extensions, while YPEHODE sets Line 3 further extension from Aghia Marina (Haidari) to Piraeus as a top priority.
In March 2006, ATTIKO METRO S.A. will announce a call for a tender for the construction of Metro Line 3 further extension, which starts from Aghia Marina (Haidari) Station and ends at Evangelistria Station in Piraeus, with 7 new stations and a total length of 8,1 km.
This extension will serve both the western suburbs of Athens (Aghia Varvara, Nikaia, Korydallos) and Piraeus. Piraeus will be served by 4 new modern Metro Stations (Tabouria, Piraeus, Dimotiko Theatro and Evangelistria).
The cost estimate of the project rises to approximately 700 million euros and the funding is expected to be ensured in the first place by the 3rd CSF, i.e. by funds which have not been absorbed in other business plans. Based on the designs of ATTIKO METRO S.A. the new Stations of the network will be constructed at the following locations:
AGHIA VARVARA Station: Eleftheriou Venizelou Avenue (Ag.Eleoussa)
KORYDALLOS Station: Eleftherias Square
NIKAIA Station: Eleftherios Venizelos Square
TAMBOURIA Station: Etolikou & Mavromichali Streets
PIRAEUS Station: at the Port (close to ISAP Station)
DIMOTIKO THEATRO Station: Iroon Polytechniou & Vas. Georgiou Streets
EVANGELISTRIA Station: Grigoriou Lambraki Street
The initial design of the extension, based on which ZEA was the terminal station, was revised due to significant technical dificulties and the anticipated great number of antiquities, taking into account the recent decision of the State Council as to the construction of works in this area. Moreover, the area of Evangelistria, where the new terminal stations is to be located, one the one hand serves a densely populated area of Piraeus and on the other hand the future extension of the project.
Line 3 extension from Aghia Marina (Haidari) to Piraeus and Evangelistria connecting to Panepistimio as well, is expected to serve more than 160,000 passengers on a daily basis, who will be able to travel comfortably ans safely by Metro. The central and commercial area of Piraeus with 3 new stations (Piraeus, Municipal Theatre and Evangelistria) will be served in the best possible way, while the benefits for the various institutional foundations, such as the University of Piraeus will be very important.
It is worth mentioning that upon implementation of this extension, the Athens Metro Line 3 will be 49 km long (28,3 km out of which will be underground).
We are striving to incorporate this project in the 3rd CSF, hoping that, since YPEHODE goes well with the absorptions of community funds, it will support this project via funds which will not be absorbed in other programs. A colossal effort is made and the tender procedure for this project will commence in early April.
I would like to say a few things about the cost and Turin Metro. No comparison can be made. In Turin, a light Metro system was constructed. The Stations are 60m long and our stations are 110 m long; they have 3-car trains and we have 6-car trains. In Turin, no antiquities have been encountered and the area is not striken by earthquakes. Despite all these differences, the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. was requested to carry out an investigation with regard to the cost estimate of the Turin Metro.
Based on reliable data collected by ATTIKO METRO S.A., the cost does not rise to 640 or 650 million euros, but to 880 million euros, which means 90 million euros per km.
Besides, I kindly request that you recall a table given out on the Press in the past. In London, the cost for one line was 375 million euros, in Paris the respective cost was 156 million euros, in Lisbon for 4 lines it was 118 million euros, in Rome 102 million euros and in Amsterdan 86 million euros per km.
Based on these tender procedures for the Athens Metro we will pay 75 million euros per km and I must say that our tenders present big differences in relation to the tenders already carried out.
First of all, there is a thorough detailed design. There is no additional project to be added at a later stage.
Secondly, the tender is carried out at one stage, which shall be the same for Civil and E/M Works. Therefore, there will no interruption of works during the execution of works, as was the case until the present day.
Moreover, there will be no supplementary contracts, since the Community Directive, which no longer allows them, has been fully integrated.
Then, an agreement was reached with the European Community and an Amendment is to pass at the Parliament about costs in the minus, as far as the co-funded projects are concerned, which are to be restricted to the minimum.
Finally, the total cost estimate given by the bidder who is to be the Contractor, includes contigencies as well. This is a term of the tender.
We were given specific contracts and we ought, being in the government of this country and in compliance with the Law of Public Contracts, to adhere to the terms of the contracts.
I have to tell you that, throughout our tenure in the Ministry of PEHODE, the cost estimate of the project relating to the extension to Egaleo has not increased. Some deadlines were extended, given that there was a number of problems such as the aracheological excavations and the removal of PUO networks, which as you know sometimes give rise to further delays. There were also problems related to the fact that some residents had recourse to the Council of State due to the expropriations, which also caused some delay.
We implement the contract that we found. There was no increase in the budget and time extension was given because it was deemed necessary.
As a conclusion, I will give you some information concerning the progress of the works. When we assumed tasks, the project was completed by 33% and is currently completed by 78%. The Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. has informed me that the extension to Egaleo will be completed in April 2007. I needed to give this information because a relavent article was given out on the Press.