The delay was confirmed by transport minister Benny Engelbrecht in a written notification to parliament.
“The beginning of operations at Odense Letbane will be delayed from September 1st 2021 until around New Year 2021-22,” the statement reads.
“This is because the company [Odense Letbane, ed,] can confirm that the [contractor] cannot live up to agreed schedule for handover of the transport system, apparently as a consequence of Covid-19,” Engelbrecht also wrote.
In a statement, Odense Letbane said that the primary contractor, Comsa, had recently given notice that the development would be delayed.
“We have recently been able to see that it would be more difficult for Comsa to finish in time for the planned opening. We have naturally maintained pressure on Comsa for as long as possible,” Odense Letbane CEO Mogens Hagelskær said in the statement, which was reported by TV2 Fyn.
“But the primary contractor has now presented a new schedule… and we must unfortunately concede that the light rail will not be able to open until around New Year,” Hagelskær added.
Spanish firm Comsa has said that the ongoing situation related to the coronavirus across Europe has resulted in difficulties in supplying labour and materials for the project in Denmark. The company has also had to adapt its working methods, which involve housing labourers in small groups, TV2 Fyn reports.
In 2017, a light rail system in Aarhus opened after also experiencing construction delays.