Renovation of Ghent-Sint-Pieters station: delays and budget overruns

general assembly on October 21, 2020

At the request of Parliament, the Court of Audit examined the delays and budget overruns during the renovation of Ghent- Sint-Pieters station. The Court of Audit found that the additional delay and cost of the first phase of the renovation (tracks 12 to 8) were mainly due to the re-phasing of the works in order to ensure passenger safety and train punctuality during the renovation. This phase was completed more than 15 months late. The public contract for it had been awarded in 2010 at a price that was 20% lower than estimated, but its total cost at the beginning of 2020 was 36.2% higher than the amount awarded. The public procurement for the second phase of the renovation (tracks 7 to 1) is very difficult. A first public contract was cancelled at the beginning of 2017 due to overpriced bids, as was a second one at the beginning of 2020, despite a significant reduction in the contract. A third procedure, based on a simplified design, was to be published in mid-September 2020. This means a delay of more than four years for the procurement of the second phase. The national railway company is bringing forward the end of 2027 as the target date for the completion of the works on the station.