Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway is costing its investor more than $100,000 a day.
Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (VIDIFI) has incurred average losses of VNĐ2.5 billion (US$108,700) a day or VNĐ900 billion ($39.1 million) per year, according to a report recently sent to the Ministry of Transport and the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam.
Total toll collection for the Build-Operate-Transfer project was estimated at more than VNĐ2 trillion ($87 million) last year including more than VNĐ1.25 trillion ($54.4 million) from seven toll booths and nearly VNĐ833 billion ($36.2 million) from other two booths located at National Highway No 5.
On average, each day the project collected some VNĐ5.7 billion ($248,000), against the costs the company incurs operating nine toll booths and road maintenance.
The firm also has interest costs of about VNĐ8 billion ($348,000) daily for various loans it took out for the project, including two loans worth $300 million from KFW, the German government-owned development bank and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim Bank).
VIDIFI said the total unsettled debt owed to Kexim Bank to be paid by 2044 is $23 million while the debt owed to KFW due by 2023 is nearly $54 million.
The financial plan of the project states that the State will help pay off the debts to KFW and Kexim Bank.
In 2015, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc decided to use State budget to assist the project, but so far no State funding has been provided.
“The slow allocation of State budget to pay off foreign debts by 2020 will have serious impacts on finance and capital balance of VDB and VIDIFI. The finance ministry will lack capital to pay off foreign debts,” a VIDIFI representative said.
To repay loans from foreign credit organisations, VIDIFI has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to push the National Assembly Standing Committee for State funds.
The current toll fee rate at the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng expressway is VNĐ2,000 ($0.09) per km for each vehicle, the highest in Việt Nam.
Nguyễn Văn Thanh, chairman of Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, said “Despite the high fee rate, the project has still incurred losses. We should slash the fee. The lower the fee stays, the more vehicles will go through. It then will increase toll fee collection.”
The Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway covering 105.8km with six lanes was opened to traffic in December 2015. It helps reduce traffic flow on National Highway No 5 and connects the highway with ports, airports and tourism spots.
The investment capital approved in 2008 was more than VNĐ24.5 trillion ($1.1 billion). However, cost overrun from increasing expenses on construction, equipment and land clearance pulled the total investment up to nearly VNĐ45.5 trillion ($2 billion). — VNS