Tender for new Porto metro line may be launched in May to ensure bids

  • Lusa
  • 13 April 2023

"We don't have the day, it will be announced very soon," the company CEO, Tiago Braga, told Lusa. "But I reaffirm that [it will be] at the end of April, beginning of May.

The CEO of Metro do Porto, the company that runs the city’s urban transit system, said on Thursday that it may launch the public tender for the planned new Ruby Line as soon as next month to avoid it being left with no bidders, even as it finalises preparations for the procedure and project.

“We don’t have the day, it will be announced very soon,” the company CEO, Tiago Braga, told Lusa. “But I reaffirm that [it will be] at the end of April, beginning of May… “e are finalising what I have already had the opportunity to say.

“We are in the revision phase of the project,” Braga added, during a visit to work on the extension of the Yellow Line, between Santo Ovídio and Vila d’Este, in Vila Nova de Gaia, south of the River Douro from Porto.

According to Braga, “a project of the magnitude of the Ruby Line, which involves a bridge, two very significant viaducts, three kilometres of tunnel, surface and underground stations” requires care in undertaking the tender procedure.

“We do not want to run the risk of launching the tender and the tender being without bids, as has been happening all over the place,” the Metro do Porto CEO told Lusa.

In Gaia, the stations planned for the Ruby Line are Santo Ovídio, Soares dos Reis, Devesas, Rotunda, Candal and Arrábida, while in Porto they are Campo Alegre and Casa da Música, with the construction of a new bridge over the Douro.

According to the official, the review is “in the final stages of preparation of the tender documents,” specifically the execution project for “both the line and the bridge,” acknowledging that “it is taking a little longer” than initially planned – which was to 17 March or at least the end of that month.

“Probably, maybe, we will give less time, or [we can] keep the time and can let the beginning of the work slip a little, one or two months, but with the absolute certainty that we do not take false steps, because that would be the worst that could happen to us,” Braga told Lusa.

As for the review component of the project in terms of cost – initially calculated at €299 million (funded by the Recovery and Resilience Plan for post-pandemic recovery funding from the European Union) – Braga did not want to cite any amount to Lusa.

Asked whether it could be around €100 million, the CEO replied that, with “the number of one hundred is easy to do the math, because everyone says that the price revision is thirty percent.

“This is a number that always comes up when you talk about it,” he said. “I don’t want to tell you if it is one hundred million, if it is ninety-five or if it is one hundred and five. In terms of order of magnitude, we are not talking about a project that suddenly reaches five or six hundred million; it is not like that”, assured Metro do Porto’s president.

Regarding the agreements for compensation to residents of the area of Santo Ovídio, in Vila Nova de Gaia, who will lose their homes because of the construction of the future Ruby Line station, the CEO said that an agreement has already been reached with “a very significant percentage” of owners.

“We have already reached an agreement,” he said. “I can’t tell you if we have reached agreement with everyone, but we have a very significant percentage of owners with whom we have already reached agreement.”

He later said that this percentage corresponds to an “overwhelming majority” of residents and that the company will reach agreement in “all other situations” that arise.