|The Ha Noi-Thai Nguyen New Highway 3 will be upgraded to expressway. — Photo bizlive.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — A group of investors has requested the transport ministry to allow them to invest and upgrade the new Ha Noi –Thai Nguyen Highway 3 to the level of an expressway.
The upgrade work will be carried out on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
The investment will amount to VND3.2 trillion (nearly US$150 million), of which VND1.96 trillion ($90.4 million) will be for newly built items and VND1.2 trillion ($55 million) for paying the debts contractors acquired during the construction of Highway 3.
The upgraded expressway will have speed limits of 100km to 120km per hour.
The upgrade work will include expansion and reinforcement of the road surface, the installation of a traffic system, service stations, toll stations and expressway operation centre, the construction of frontage roads, and the installation of an intelligent traffic system (ITS).
If the proposal is approved, the selection of the contractors and signing of contracts will be carried out in October this year. The construction work is estimated to be complete by May 2016.
The group of investors -- New Viet Xuan Stock Company, Yen Khach Trading, Production and Service Company Ltd., and IMICO Petro Investment Company -- will prepare a plan for collecting toll tax from June 2016.
The period of getting a return on investment is estimated to be about 21 years and six months.
As they are seeking a large amount of capital investment in a short period to repay the debt of the old contractors and to complete the work, the investors have also asked for a value added tax (VAT) exemption from the collection of toll and enterprise income taxes.
Moreover, the investors also want permission for monopoly trade advertisement services along the expressway.
The construction of the 63.8km-long New Ha Noi-Thai Nguyen Highway 3 started in November 2009. It passes through Ha Noi and Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen Provinces.
The four-lane highway has 18 bridges, which are 2.7km in length, and 15 flyovers.
An amount of VND10 trillion (US$458 million) was invested in the highway, of which US$302 million was a loan from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).
At present, the highway allows speeds of 80km to 100km per hour. — VNS