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Länsimetro CEO replaced, metro extension price tag still rising

Länsimetro CEO Matti Kokkinen was fired from his post on Monday, and Ville Saksi was named to replace him immediately. The latest estimates predict the over-budget and delayed metro expansion investment to the west of Helsinki will accrue tens of millions of euros in added expenses before it becomes operational.

Ville Saksi
Ville Saksi will replace Matti Kokkinen as the CEO of Länsimetro. Image: VR Group

The board of Länsimetro Ltd decided on November 14 to name civil engineer Ville Saksi as the firm’s new CEO, effective immediately. He replaces Matti Kokkinen, who was fired from the position. Saksi has earlier worked as the CEO of VR Track’s rail renewal project, the Länsimetro’s website stated.

The latest forecast for total expenses of the Länsimetro project projects a price tag of 1,186 million euros. The company has requested an injection of 104 million euros from the cities of Espoo and Helsinki to cover its loan guarantees.

Länsimetro: accessibility behind added expense

In a press release, Länsimetro explains that the added expenses are attributable to unanticipated excavation costs, changes to the construction regulation requirements and growing space needs for such things as technical rooms, smoke extraction equipment and accessibility issues at both entrances to the stations.   

According to separate decision from the Espoo City Council, the scope of the Länsimetro project also includes construction of the Nittykumpu station, the Matinkylä terminal and the western Matinkylä entrance, which total 80 million euros.

New start date revealed before the end of the year

As the cost estimate for the project grows, the company has been forced to procure more loan guarantees in both Espoo and Helsinki. The extra funding will have to be approved by both cities’ boards and councils. This latest final price tag has tried to account for everything necessary before launch of the project’s first phase. 

The launch date of the expansion will become clear after testing of the three stations is completed in late November-early December.

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