Oslo’s water supply project will be 7 billion kroner more expensive than expected

Sirin StavPhoto: Hanna Johre / NTB

The so-called backbone project in Oslo is now estimated to cost NOK 9.2 billion. That is NOK 7 billion more than the previous estimate. 

The information was announced by the Environment and Transport Agency Councilor Sirin Stav (MDG) in a memorandum to the City Council, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

The previous assessments of the costs were made at an early stage in the planning process, and, therefore, they were very uncertain, according to Stav.

“It is not unusual for the figures to change when the basis for the analyses becomes more secure throughout the process,” she said.

The City Council is now waiting for external quality assurance. Stav will then submit a proposal to the City Council.

“We will do what we can to keep costs down,” she said.

Already more expensive than estimates

The overrun is in addition to the price tag of NOK 17.7 billion for a new reserve water supply to Oslo, the so-called Holsfjorden project, which carries the reserve water to Sagene.

This project was NOK 5.2 billion more expensive than previously estimated, and the opposition in Oslo referred to this as the biggest budget gap in any Norwegian municipality ever.

This exceedance led to the no-confidence motion against Green Party City Councilor Lan Marie Berg and led to the City Council resigning on Wednesday, June 16. Stav replaced Berg in the new City Council.

Asks Johansen to take responsibility

Oslo Progress Party’s (FRP) parliamentary representative Christian Tybring-Gjedde told NTB that City Council leader Raymond Johansen must take responsibility. He believes that he is hiding behind the Green Party city councilors.

“He is the one who has the overall responsibility for the water supply scandals. I expect him to come to the fore and explain to Oslo’s residents what he will do about the overspend and what the cost for each individual household in Oslo will be,” Tybring-Gjedde said.

He also wants an answer as to whether Johansen knew about the overspend when the City Council resigned.

Completed in 2028

The project “New water supply Oslo” will carry water from the new water source at Holsfjorden to a new water treatment plant at Huseby. 

From Huseby, clean water will be carried via a tunnel to Sagene. From there, the water will go through a tunnel to Disen and on to Trosterud, and from the existing water treatment plant at Oset on Kjelsås to Disen. 

Both projects are scheduled for completion in 2028.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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