ON JULY 29 the Taiwanese High Court awarded NT$1·1bn to Matra Transport International as compensation for its work on Taipei’s troubled Mucha metro line. This should have been welcome news to the French supplier, which has been battling with Taipei City Council’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems for five years. But the story is still not over.
Matra won the Mucha line contract in 1988, but was thrown out four years later because of construction problems. DORTS went on to complete the line in 1996, at an estimated cost of NT$25bn. Matra lodged a claim for losses on the deal totalling over NT$2bn, but when the arbitrator awarded it NT$1bn in October 1993 DORTS called the finding ’skewed’ and refused to pay. Matra went to law, but in 1994 the Taipei District Court ruled that no compensation was payable. The High Court endorsed this finding in 1997, but has now reversed the decision. DORTS is still refusing to pay, and has appealed to the Supreme Court. Keep watching this space.