Expressway component projects to be shifted to public investment

March 23, 2020 - 08:39
The Mai Sơn – Highway 45 Expressway, Highway 45 – Nghi Sơn Expressway and Phan Thiết – Dầu Giây section are to be changed.


A section running through Tan An city (Long An province) of Hồ Chí Minh City-Trung Lương Expressway, part of the North-South Expressway. — VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Three component projects of the North-South Expressway master plan are expected to be shifted from the private-public partnership model to the public investment model.

The Mai Sơn – Highway 45 Expressway, Highway 45 – Nghi Sơn Expressway and Phan Thiết – Dầu Giây section are to be changed.

Initially, a total of eight sections out of 11 sections of the expressway were meant to be invested in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The Ministry of Transport called on foreign and domestic investors to submit documents of interest in the project.

However, last September, the Government decided that only domestic companies will be entitled to construct the North-South Expressway.

After ruling out foreign contractors, the transport ministry shortlisted 32 of the 93 bids received by the North-South Expressway management board.

The transport ministry called for shifting the investment model for these three projects as they are on the urgent list and needed to be brought into operation soon.

The total investment for the three projects is VNĐ33.6 trillion (US$1.4 billion). The initial result for bidding for the three projects are available, but if the National Assembly approves the request by the transport ministry, the results will be cancelled.

A transport expert who wanted to stay anonymous said the move will help accelerate the speed of the projects due to the nature of public investment.

If the PPP model was used for these projects, some problems might arise and cause the projects to slow down, he said. For instance, if public bidding failed to select a competent contractor, or if the projects are not attractive enough to investors, the transport ministry will have to seek another investment model.

Lê Đức Thọ, Deputy General Director of The Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No 4 (Cienco4), said the possibility of attracting investors for projects on Mai Sơn – Highway 45 section and Highway 45- Nghi Sơn section was low.

These sections have a low density of traffic, and the payback period would be long and payback possibility rather low, Thọ said.

The North-South Expressway covers 2,109km, extending from the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn to the southernmost province of Cà Mau.

It has 11 sub-projects, with three set to be funded by the State budget.

Once completed, it is expected to become a backbone connecting the entire country.

A number of sections covering 601km are already under construction. — VNS