Lift company Sigma still banned from new HDB projects
Housing Board says banned lift company yet to meet performance standards
Lift company Sigma Elevators is still banned from tendering for new projects, said the Housing Board, as its performance has yet to meet the required standards.
The update comes nearly a year after HDB revealed it had forbidden Sigma from bidding for new projects since October 2015.
This is so that the firm can "focus on improving the installed lifts under their current contract".
Noting "some observed improvements in the performance of these lifts", the spokesman told The Straits Times it will review their status after they have fully met its lift performance and service standards.
There are around 3,500 lifts built by Sigma out of about 24,000 lifts in HDB estates here.
In 2013, HDB awarded a tender to the company to install 469 lifts in new flats. But Sigma, unable to meet deadlines, was not allowed to tender for new projects in 2015.
Last year, HDB noticed a higher-than-usual breakdown rate in the lifts installed by Sigma in their first year of operation.
The company has said it has worked closely with the Town Councils and HDB to rectify the issues, with HDB adding in its latest reply that improvements were seen where Sigma has "undertaken rectification works for this batch of lifts progressively".
But there have been recurring problems for Sigma-branded lifts not part of the 2013 tender as well.
In five public estates tracked by ST - Punggol Arcadia, Edgefield Walk, Waterway Cascadia, Natura Loft and McNair Towers - the Sigma lifts there still break down repeatedly and are out of service for long periods.
Three of these - Punggol Arcadia, Edgefield Walk and Natura Loft - are about five to seven years old and the lifts there are not supplied under HDB's lift term contracts but through each development's contractor.
HDB said of these estates: "The respective Town Councils had engaged Sigma, the lift contractor, to maintain the lifts. We will work with the Town Councils and Sigma to improve the performance of these lifts through regular checks and maintenance."
In August, the Ministry of National Development revealed national lift breakdown figures for 2013/14 and 2015/16 in public housing estates, showing things had improved.
On average, there were 20 lift breakdowns per 1,000 lifts a month in 2015 and 2016, down from around 30 in 2013 and 2014.
But not all residents have seen improvements.
At Punggol Arcadia, one resident, who started compiling an Excel sheet of "Lift Reports" from June, recorded a surge of nearly 50 lift breakdowns in September alone, up from 15 in the previous month.
The last reported incident, according to the resident, was on Nov 8.
At Bishan's Natura Loft - a Design, Build and Sell Scheme estate - the breakdown of the high-speed Sigma lifts in the estate's three 40-storey blocks has continued to inconvenience residents.