Lawmakers okay public funding for three national expressway sections

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   June 19, 2020 | 11:41 pm PT
Lawmakers okay public funding for three national expressway sections
A section of the La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway connecting Da Nang City with Thua-Thien Hue Province which will be linked to the North-South Expressway. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
Lawmakers have agreed on public funding of three North-South Expressway sections, insisting on public-private-partnership investment for the remaining five.

Vu Hong Thanh, Chairman of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, explained that the parliamentary approval for public funding of three sections was based on two reasons: one section failing to find investor interest, and an urgent demand for two other sections to be completed soon.

He said no investor had expressed interest in the 106-kilometer Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet section in the central province of Binh Thuan.

The other two sections that need to be completed on a priority bases are: the 63-kilometer Mai Son – National Road 45 section connecting the northern province of Ninh Binh with the central province of Thanh Hoa ; and the 98-kilometer Phan Thiet – Dau Giay section connecting Binh Thuan with southern Dong Nai Province.

The remaining five sections of the North-South Expressway will continue to be implemented under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The National Assembly will reconsider the investment form if the government is unable to find other investors for them.

The eight sections are part of a total of 11 to build the 653-kilometer eastern cluster of the North-South Expressway. Work on the remaining three sections is underway using public funds.

Last year the ministry had tried to find foreign investors for the eight projects in the form of PPP, but very few got through the qualification round, which meant low competition.

It then decided that only domestic investors would be asked to bid to also "ensure national security and expand Vietnamese firms’ capability in infrastructure construction."

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