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Hotel project hits land clearance roadblock

Update: July, 18/2012 - 10:23

BA RIA – VUNG TAU — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the People's Committee of southern Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province to make a report on the implementation of a huge tourism and entertainment complex in the province after receiving a call for help from the project's investor late last month.

Financed by Winvest Investment Viet Nam under the US Winvest LLC Group, the Saigon Atlantic Hotel project is one of largest in the southern coastal province.

The project had initial investment capital of US$300 million when the investment certificate was first granted in November, 2007. It was then allowed to increase capital to $4.1 billion in 2009, requiring an area of 307ha onshore and 610ha offshore.

However, the project is running behind schedule, largely due to challenges in land clearance resulting in a serious shortage of available land.

"Only 87ha of land had been handed over to us to date," an anonymous official from Winvest Investment Viet Nam Co told Viet Nam News over the phone yesterday.

"Local authorities told us that they did not have enough budget for the project's land clearance compensation," he said.

There was hardly a progress made in site clearance last year, Hoang Xuan Vinh, deputy head of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment's Foreign Co-operation and Investment Division told Dau Tu Online.

Winvest has already advanced VND98 billion ($4.6 million) while the province has spent more than VND100 billion ($4.76 million) in compensation so far.

But we still encountered many difficulties in site clearance, Vinh said.

Total site clearance costs for the project were estimated at more than VND600 billion ($28.6 million), and that was too much compared with the provincial budget, he said.

The Saigon Atlantic Hotel project is expected to comprise of 332 villas and over 16,100 high-end apartments, creating 15,000 local jobs. — VNS

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