12 ailing state-managed projects mired in $2.7 bln debt

By Phuong Anh   October 11, 2020 | 08:59 pm PT
12 ailing state-managed projects mired in $2.7 bln debt
Workers package fertilizer at the DAP 1 Hai Phong Fertilizer Plant in northern Hai Phong City. Photo courtesy of DAP 1 Hai Phong Fertilizer Plant.
Several state-owned companies have lost money and piled up over VND63.3 trillion ($2.73 billion) worth of debts as a result of poor execution of 12 factory construction and expansion works.

Their projects, which include the construction or expansion of steel, fertilizer and shipbuilding plants, have led to accumulated losses of VND26.3 trillion, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

It said there are disputes with Chinese contractors over five of these projects. The two sides have not been able to reach agreement over the new costs after changes were made to technical design and equipment.

Three of them, undertaken by the Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem), involved the construction and expansion of fertilizer plants in northern provinces.

A fourth involved the expansion of a plant belonging to the Dung Quat Shipbuilding Industry Company, a subsidiary of energy giant Petrovietnam, in the central province of Quang Ngai.

Another also involved expansion of a plant, this one belonging to the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered that all issues concerning the 12 projects must be resolved before July next year.

They have made lawmakers concerned about state-owned company executives’ lack of ability to manage public funds.

The projects also saw costs balloon by 46 percent to VND63.6 trillion.

After the government’s efforts over three years to settle their problems, only two of the 12 projects have become profitable for their companies. Two others have managed to reduce losses and one has resumed operations after a hiatus.

The remaining seven are still being constructed or have yet to go on stream.

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