Vietnam still looking for builder of biggest airport to be

By Viet Tuan   May 5, 2023 | 11:00 pm PT
Vietnam still looking for builder of biggest airport to be
Long Thanh airport project in Dong Nai Province in March, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Contractors are not interested in building the passenger terminal for Long Thanh International Airport in the southern Dong Nai Province, according to the Transport Ministry.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Danh Huy told a government’s meeting on Friday that the airport’s investor, Vietnam Airports Corporation (ACV), divides the contract to build the passenger terminal into two packages: the foundation and the above-ground facilities.

The foundation has now been basically completed but still, there is currently no builder to finish the rest of the terminal, Huy said.

He said the terminal itself is "complicated with many integrated system," making it difficult to choose a capable contractor.

At the same time, contractors are not interested as the "bidding price is not attractive enough," Huy said.

The first bidding organized last September only attracted one contractor and that unit did not meet ACV’s requirements to build the terminal, he said.

The ACV announced last December that bidding on a package to build the passenger terminal for the airport had been canceled as no local candidates met the requirements to carry out the project.

According to the corporation, local contractors lack experience in special projects like airports while several foreign contractors interested in the project considered the 2025 deadline impractical.

The ACV had in February launched the second bidding to find building for the terminal.

On April 20, it held a conference, calling for contractors around the globe to join in the project. But no builder has been found.

"The progress of the airport’s first phase now entirely depends on the bidding’s result," said deputy minister Huy.

He added that the ACV is reviewing the whole bidding process to see if it must change the deadline for the airport’s first phase.

At the Friday meeting, Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Tran Van Son said that ACV should take full responsibility for delaying the airport’s project.

Nguyen Ngoc Canh, vice chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, said the commission has directed the ACV to extend the bid opening time for another six weeks.

PM Pham Minh Chinh on April 18 ordered an investigation into individuals responsible for delays in the construction of Long Thanh airport.

Work on Long Thanh airport began in early 2021 and its first phase is scheduled for completion in 2025 to serve 25 million passengers a year.

Until now, construction work has only stopped at leveling ground, building fences, and the drainage system.

Costing an estimated $16 billion, the airport is designed to serve 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo per year.

Once operational, the airport will replace HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport as the largest airport in the country.

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