Cuu Long CIPM on December 30 signed a contract for toll collection rights to the Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong Expressway with Yen Khanh Service Trading and Production Co Ltd.

The HCM City-based company won the auction with a bid of 2 trillion VND (95.2 million USD) for permission to collect tolls at four existing stations, Cho Dem, Tan An, Ben Luc and Than Cuu Nghia, for five years starting from January 1. The payment will be made in three phases over six months.

The Ministry of Transport had assigned the Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (Cuu Long CIPM) to oversee the contract with Yen Khanh Company, said Duong Tuan Minh, director general of Cuu Long CIPM.

"It is the first infrastructure project in the country in which toll collection rights have been transferred via public auction," he said.

The successful auction would lay the foundation for cooperation between the State agencies and private economic sector to develop transport infrastructure, Minh said at the signing ceremony.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has asked Cuu Long CIPM and Yen Khanh Company to work closely to implement the contract to address any problems arising during the contractual period.

The 40-km expressway connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Tien Giang province in the Mekong Delta was put into operation in February 2010. It started collecting fees in February 2012. It was built at a cost of nearly 10 trillion VND (476 million USD) funded by the State budget.-VNA