Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The investor of the Hà Nội – Hải Phòng Expressway could collect toll fees for 28 years, 8 months, and 27 days, about one year less than originally envisaged.
This is one of the conclusions announced by the State Audit Office of Việt Nam (SAV), after auditing the expressway project from October 3, 2016 to December 1, 2016.
The 105-km expressway starts from Hà Nội’s Belt Road 3 intersection, passing through Hưng Yên and Hải Dương provinces, and ending at the Đình Vũ seaport in Hải Phòng.
The project was undertaken using a Build-Operate-Transfer contract.
The project’s cost was first estimated in 2008 and updated in 2014, as total investment and other major figures changed. The project investor – Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment JSC (VIDIFI) – submitted the project’s adjusted estimate to the Construction Ministry and Transport Ministry.
According to the SAV, VIDIFI’s estimate was not exact when compared with documents provided by Việt Nam Development Bank (VDB) which lends to the company, and the Transport Ministry which assessed the project.
For example, VIDIFI reported a debt of VNĐ32.123 trillion (US$1.42 billion) but VDB stated a loan of VNĐ 27.558 trillion ($1.21 billion).
The Transport Ministry claimed total investment for the project is VNĐ44.818 trillion ($1.98 billion) but the company produced a figure of VNĐ45.487 trillion ($2 billion).
The different data resulted in changes to the duration that VIDIFI could collect toll fees from drivers who use the Hà Nội – Hải Phòng Expressway.
The average distance-based toll fee along the expressway is VNĐ2,000 per km for standard vehicles. It allows people to go between Hà Nội and Hải Phòng in 1.5 hours, instead of 2.5 hours.
The SAV also found that construction under the project was slower than it should be, resulting in long delays. Construction was supposed to start in September 2008 and end in April 2012, but began earlier, in May 2008, and ended later in December 2015.
According to a VIDIFI report, by last April, about 17,000 – 18,000 vehicles used the route daily, paying total tolls of about VNĐ1.8 billion. — VNS