New roads the answer for economic growth

January 19, 2024 | 10:19
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It is projected that 2024 could be a bumper year for expressway construction to get moving, with several localities approving plans for vital connection infrastructure.

Lang Son People’s Committee at the end of 2023 gave the go-ahead for a Huu Nghi-Chi Lang border gate expressway. In the plan, nearly 60km will be developed in the form of a build-operate-transfer contract.

Of this, 43km will connect Cao Loc district’s Dong Dang town to Chi Lang district’s Mai Sao commune in Lang Son. The route connecting Tan Thanh and Coc Nam border gates will cover the remainder of the distance.

New roads the answer for economic growth
New roads the answer for economic growth, photo Le Toan

The expressway project was originally set to be approved in April 2023, with site clearance starting in June and construction beginning last month. With the approval around nine months behind schedule, it is not currently clear when various phases of the expressway will take place.

The payback fee collection period is about 27 years. It is hoped the expressway will be an important bridge for the Nanning, Lang Son, Haiphong, and Quang Ninh economic corridor, a part of the trans-Asia economic corridor, and a gateway for trade exchange with China and Southeast Asia.

As the only developer currently interested in Huu Nghi-Chi Lang, Deo Ca Group chairman Ho Minh Hoang spoke at a conference last week in an attempt to entice partners to get involved in the venture.

“Despite not yet being selected as a project developer, Deo Ca calls and welcomes the companionship of traffic and construction businesses for the best preparation and is ready to participate in the project,” Hoang said. “Currently, the real estate market is still very difficult. Investing in transportation infrastructure will be the only way out to create motivation for cash flow, contributing to promoting economic growth.”

The group’s general director Nguyen Quang Vinh noted that total investment of the project is around $464 million as per the plan, of which half would come from the state budget.

“This is a feasible project if Deo Ca is selected as the developer. Equity capital will be mobilised by Deo Ca along with steadfast, bridging, and potential investors,” Vinh said.

This model has been effectively implemented by the group, most recently in the Dong Dang-Tra Linh expressway project.

Nguyen Ba Khuong, chairman of 568 Construction JSC, is ready to join in the project as a steadfast investor. “The company has currently prepared equipment and capital sources for the building of Huu Nghi-Chi Lang, ensuring to meet or even exceed the assigned schedule if the investor consortium led by Deo Ca is selected as the project investor,” he said.

With available resources, equipment, and material quarries, and having already worked with Deo Ca Group on the Bac Giang-Lang Son Expressway recently, Phi Ngoc Anh, deputy general director of Lizen JSC, is seeking to fund at least 15 per cent of the Huu Nghi-Chi Lang project and undertake construction of a section of the route worth around $85 million.

Appreciating the potential of the expressway, representatives of TPBank also stated their readiness to work with Deo Ca and other investors to implement the project, ensuring fast and convenient disbursement of capital.

Earlier this month, the prime minister visited a site that began construction of Dong Dang-Tra Linh expressway, which will primarily transport goods from Haiphong and Quang Ninh seaports to China, Central Asia, and European countries. The 121km road, costing around $605 million, is expected to open to traffic in 2026.

Last year, 20 projects were completed and put into operation, including nine highway projects with a length of 475km. The total length of expressways put into operation across the country is nearly 1,900km.

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