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Dubai Metro pay dispute settled,work restarted-FT

DUBAI/TOKYO: Construction of the Dubai Metro has restarted after a settlement was reached with the Japanese-led consortium behind the project over about $2-3 billion in disputed payments, the Financial Times reported Feb 17.

Construction of 18 unfinished stations on the system's main line and another 18 on an unopened line started again on Feb. 7, the paper said on its website citing contractors.

The Japanese consortium members are Japan's Obayashi Corp, Kajima Corp, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and trading house Mitsubishi Corp. The consortium also includes Turkey's Yapi Merkezi Insaat Ve Sanat AS.

Obayashi Corp spokesman Kiyoshi Takahashi said the company is still in talks with the Dubai government about the payments, and that construction had never stopped.

"Work slowed down, but it never stopped. The pace has begun picking up recently," he said without elaborating.

Construction slowed as costs increased due to design changes, Obayashi told Reuters in January.

A Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman declined to comment. Officials from Kajima were not immediately available for comment.

The fully automated metro network is now expected to be finished at the end of this year, pushed back from an original target of this spring.

The world's longest automated rail system will probably cost $7.6 billion, or 80 percent more than originally planned, Dubai government officials said last year. -- Reuters

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