Thursday, January 8, 2015

Taiwan High-Speed Rail Close to Bankrupt

* In an 18-0 vote, lawmakers across party lines joined forces and voted down the financial re-structuring plan, proposed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), to save the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) from going bankrupt.

* The MOTC's plan called for NT$150 billion for new locomotives and cars, and NT$200-300 billion to maintain operations over the next 50 years.

* Following the vote in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan (LY), Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih, along with THSRC Chairman Tony C. Fan, submitted their resignations. Efforts are under way to persuade them to stay on.

* Though is has been the main transportation artery along the west coast of Taiwan, the high-speed rail project has been a controversial issue since it first began during 1992-93. From the technology to be applied to the amount of capitalization needed, the project has fallen victim to partisan bickering characteristic of Taiwan's domestic politics.

* Unless something is done to save the THSRC from going bankrupt, the government may be forced to take over this first large-scale BOT project in Taiwan.

No comments: