A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a loan for Ho Chi Minh City’s metro line 2 worth 500 million USD was signed on May 18 between the municipal People’s Committee and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The metro’s second line is 20km long, connecting Thu Thiem new urban area in District 2 and An Suong Bus Station in District 12.

The 1.4 billion USD project uses assistance from the ADB, European Investment Bank and German Development Bank.

The line, of which construction already started in 2010, is expected to go operational in 2016.

Besides, the HCM City People’s Committee has urged authorities at the district level to speed up land acquisition so that construction of the metro line 1 can start next September.

An EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract to build the overhead section of the metro’s first route linking Ben Thanh Market with Suoi Tien Tourism Park in District 9 was signed on May 16.

Under the contract, signed with the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railway, a consortium of Japan ’s Sumitomo Corporation and Vietnam ’s Civil Engineering Construction Corp No. 6 (Cienco 6) will design, survey, execute, supply equipment, test, operate, offer utility services, and maintain stations.

The overhead section, from Ba Son Ship Yard in District 1, running through Van Thanh and Tan Cang in Binh Thanh district and the Hanoi Highway , to Suoi Tien Park , will be 17.1 km long and have 11 stations.

It will cost 15.3 trillion VND (732 million USD).

The 19.7 km line – the remaining 2.6 kilometres will be underground – is divided into three packages.

The other packages are for construction of the underground section between Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard and for mechanical-electrical devices and maintenance.

Line 1 will totally cost 47 trillion VND ( 2.25 billion USD), with 88.4 percent coming from Japanese official development assistance and the rest from the city.

Construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.-VNA