Questions raised over quality of pipeline supplied by Chinese contractor

By    April 6, 2016 | 01:52 am PT
The Hanoi People's Committee has asked the Prime Minister to intervene over the second phase of the Da River water pipeline so that Vinaconex, the project's developer, can reconsider a contract with a Chinese pipe supplier, said municipal government spokesperson Nguyen Thinh Thanh on Tuesday.

Hanoi has also requested a review of the whole project including using consultants from an international company to evaluate the quality of the pipe supplied by the Chinese contractor.

The move was made upon a request by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for clarification on information regarding the project as well as a list of solutions to ensure that the project is carried out as scheduled efficiently and legally.

The review follows reports of public concern over the quality of the water pipes supplied by the Chinese contractor, Xinxing Corporation.

The main investor of the second phase of the project, Vinaconex Water Supply Joint Stock Company (Viwasupco), said that Xinxing "has a global reputation as a manufacturer of large pipes with 20 years of experience, and as a listed company, it has financial ability.”

“Xinxing won the bid to supply the materials at 11.8 percent less than the approved cost,” Viwasupco said in a press release.

Viwasupco collected bids between August 2015 and March 2016 from suppliers of ductile iron piping for the second phase of the project, that will be 21 kilometer long and 1.8 meter in diameter.

After the announcement of the bidding results on March 21, the Center for Procurement Support under the Ministry of Planning and Investment raised concerns over the quality of the pipeline supplied by the Chinese contractor.


A pipe from the first phase of the Da River Water Project has burst 17 times. Photo by Ba Do. 

“Although the contractor is said to meet technical requirements, experts said some developers in Vietnam have been unhappy with the quality of ductile iron pipeline supplied by this contractor. Developers in other countries have also had similar complaints about the quality of Xingxing’s pipeline,” said the report.

Local people are concerned about the quality of the project as well as the selection of a Chinese contractor because since the first phase was completed in 2009, the water pipe supplied by another Chinese contractor has broken 17 times, causing an estimated loss of around 1.5 million cubic meters of water.

Due to these problems, around 70,000 residential households living in six of the city's inner districts have repeatedly suffered severe clean water shortages.

The incident led to the prosecution of nine Vinaconex executives for violating construction regulations.

The second phase of the project, worth VND5 trillion ($224 million), is expected to double the total water supply to 600,000 cubic meters per day.

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