A section of the La Son-Tuy Loan Expressway connecting Thua Thien Hue Province with Da Nang City which will be linked with the North-South Expressway. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
Vietnam is set to begin construction of three publicly-funded North-South Expressway sections on Wednesday.
They are the 63-kilometer Mai Son – National Route 45 section between Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces in the north-central region, the 104-kilometer Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet section in the central province of Binh Thuan and the 98-kilometer section between Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan and Dau Giay in the southern Dong Nai Province.
The National Assembly decided in June to fund these three sections publicly after failing to attract interest among private investors.
This reduced the number of sections to be built through public-private partnerships (PPP) in the eastern cluster of the expressway from eight to five.
Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said his ministry is hastening the bid process to find investors for the five PPP projects so that work could begin in the first quarter of next year.
The ministry wants to complete all 11 sections of the eastern sector by 2022 as tasked by the government, he said, adding that land acquisition is now at 92 percent.
Work has already begun on the other three publicly funded sections.
The 653-kilometer eastern cluster is a top priority transport project as the government seeks to renovate the country’s outdated infrastructure to foster economic growth.
Its total cost is estimated at VND100.8 trillion ($4.3 billion), with nearly 78 percent of it to be funded publicly.
Last year the ministry had tried to find foreign investors for eight sections, but few bidders got through the qualification round resulting in low competition.
It then decided to invite bids only from domestic companies also to “ensure national security and expand Vietnamese firms’ capability in infrastructure construction.”