Vietnam considers purchasing sand from Cambodia for expressways

By Viet Tuan   February 7, 2024 | 09:01 pm PT
Vietnam considers purchasing sand from Cambodia for expressways
Sand is imported from Cambodia to Vietnam by TNT Group. Photo by B.H.
The government has requested the transport and foreign ministries to buy sand and pebbles from Cambodia for the construction of expressway projects.

A resolution from a Tuesday governmental meeting said the Ministry of Transport has been requested to resolve challenges regarding the utilization and supply of construction materials, and support investors and contractors to speed up construction. The ministry would need to issue the pricing, criteria and standards regarding the use of sea sand as a backfill material.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was requested to resolve difficulties for localities on approvals for utilizing minerals as backfill and construction materials.

In October last year, the TNT Group proposed to the prime minister to import sand from Cambodia as backfill material for expressway projects in the Mekong Delta. The company said it has been approved by Cambodia to harvest sand from a section of the Mekong River with hundreds of millions of cubic meters of sand, importing around 30,000-50,000 m3 of sand for several purposes. As such, the company guarantees it would meet the demands of expressway projects in the Mekong Delta regarding quantity, quality and pricing.

The company proposed for the government to instruct entities to use imported sand for expressway projects at the Mekong Delta as a trial. It also proposed for better mechanisms regarding administrative procedures and credit sources so businesses can import sand in high amounts.

The proposals were made as several expressway projects in the Mekong Delta lack sand as backfill material.

A representative of the construction material department said importing sand from Cambodia is suitable once it satisfies all legal requirements regarding importing.

Around 2-4 million m3 of sand from upstream Mekong River reach Vietnam through the Tien and Hau rivers. The high demand for sand as backfill material in the Mekong Delta, along with limited supply, mean several expressway projects might be delayed due to sand shortage.

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