Three large-scale expressway projects soon to be constructed

February 19, 2022 | 20:46
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Investment preparations are in full swing from the government, relevant ministries, and sectors, regarding highway construction projects during the next five years, focusing on three massive expressway projects undertaken by the Ministry of Transport between Bien Hoa-Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot, and Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang-Tran De.
Three large-scale expressway projects soon to be constructed
Concept art of the Khanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot Expressway

The prime minister has signed two decisions on founding State Appraisal Council to appraise the pre-feasibility study reports of two expressway projects, namely the ones between Bien Hoa and Vung Tau and Khanh Hoa and Buon Ma Thuot based on proposals from Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

On February 10, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The had proposed the PM and the National Assembly (NA) decide on investment policies of the three expressways to create a key driving force for development in the southeast region, the Central Highlands, and the Mekong Delta.

“I have never seen such a rapid and drastic deployment. From the time the Ministry of Transport (MoT) submitted the feasibility reports for the three expressways to the time the prime minister signed the decision to establish the State Appraisal Council, it took less than a week”, said Nguyen Danh Huy, director general of the Department of Planning and Investment under the MoT.

These highway projects are prioritised for implementation by the government, with funding to be sourced from mid-term public investment and capital sources under the Programme on Socioeconomic Development and Rebound.

These highway projects are prioritised for implementation by the government, with funding to be sourced from mid-term public investment and capital sources under the Programme on Socioeconomic Development and Rebound, striving for completion before 2026.

These new projects feature complex technical requirements and huge capital value. If deployed under normal conditions, the time to prepare and complete investment procedures in accordance with the law would need three years, with a minimum construction time of 2-3 years.

Meanwhile, in Resolution No.43/2022/QH15 dated January 11, the NA has required to ensure the disbursement of the Programme on Socioeconomic Development and Rebound’s capital sources in 2022-2023 to contribute to the recovery and rapid development of production and business, promoting economic growth.

Earlier this month, at an online meeting on the preparation for investments in the expressways, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to submit proposals to the PM on the establishment of the State Appraisal Council before February 16.

For the Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang-Tran De expressway, the State Appraisal Council was established under Decision No.1456/QD-TTg from last September.

In the proposals, the MoT explained to shift the investment form of the projects from public-private partnership (PPP) to using medium-term budget capital and a part of the capital from the Programme on Socioeconomic Development and Rebound.

For instance, for the Khanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot expressway, the MoT based its approach on the preliminary calculation of the project’s financial plan, with the scenario that the state's support covers up to 50 per cent of the total capital volume following the provisions of the PPP Law.

For the project to be financially effective with a capital recouping period between 15 and 22 years, the participating state capital must account for 82-87 of the total investment.

“Based on the necessity, urgency, and investment efficiency, to ensure the successful implementation and early completion of the three expressways, the MoT recommends public investment for all three projects.

“This is also mobilising social resources to expedite infrastructure investment and transport infrastructure,” said the MoT leader.

To ensure progress, the MoT has proposed dividing the three projects into components, then assigning the people's committees of relevant localities to act as the governing body for each section’s implementation in the form of public investment.

For sections with complex technological or geological conditions – or those located between two localities – the MoT will directly act as the investment owner.

The Bien Hoa-Vung Tau expressway has an estimated length of 53.7km. To ensure investment efficiency, phase 1 involves building 4-6 lanes, with a designed speed of 100kmh. Total investment value in phase 1 is about $775 million.

The Khanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot expressway will be 117.5km long. Total investment value stands at $953 million.

The Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang-Tran De expressway will have a length of 188.2km. In phase 1, the project will have four lanes with a designed speed of 80kmh. Total investment value in this period is calculated at $1.92 billion.

By Minh Thuy

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