Ho Chi Minh City has asked the World Bank to continue lending 450 million USD for the second phase of its environmental sanitation project (Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Basin), according to the city's Transport Department.

The second phase of the Ho Chi Minh City environmental sanitation project has three important stages, including the construction of a wastewater treatment plant for the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal.

The plant, located in District 2's Thanh My Loi ward, has a capacity of 480,000 cubic metres per day.

When the plant is complete, wastewater from the entire basin will be treated by the plant instead of being discharged directly to the Saigon River.

CEM of Germany is the consultant for the plant, Phan Chau Thuan, director of project management told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper.

Two remaining works include construction of the eight-kilometre drainage system with a diameter of 3.2km, and construction of a 50-km wastewater collector sewer for District 2 where the plant is located.

The consultant for the drainage system is CDM of the US.

Thuan said the administrative procedure of the second phase will be significantly cut or simplified to ensure the project stays on schedule.

He said choosing the best contractors for the second phase plays a key role, adding that the first phase was delayed for many years due to the poor quality contractors.

Therefore, in this second phase, everything will be specified in the contract, and thus contract violation, if any, by contractors would be strictly penalised to ensure the project's progress.

One of the most important tasks of the wastewater treatment plant is to treat both waste-mud and wastewater and resolve the problem of the smell.

The management board will select the contractors who meet the technical requirements first, before basing it on price, according to Thuan.

Ho Chi Minh City plans to construct the plant using a process of design-build-operate (DBO) with an operation time of five years.

The selection of contractors for all the works for the second phase must be finished in June. This is crucial for obtaining loans from the World Bank, according to Thuan.

The second phase of the Ho Chi Minh City environmental sanitation (Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Basin) project is expected to be completed in 2018.

The first phase of the project started in 2003 and was completed in August 2012.

The first phase has had an investment of 8.6 trillion VND (421 million USD), of which 6.126 trillion VND (293.94 million USD) comes from the World Bank's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and 3.348 trillion VND (160.6 million USD) from the city budget.

More than 1.6 trillion VND (76.8 million USD) has been used for site clearance work and compensation for about 7,000 households that had to be relocated.

After 10 years of development, the first phase of the project has resulted in more than 9 kilometres of water inlet sluice with a diameter of 2.5-3 metres, dredge around 1.1 million cubic of soil on the canal, and the upgrade of 16 bridges along the canal, among other works.

In addition, Ho Chi Minh City also invested more than 554 billion VND (26.27 million USD) in upgrading and expanding the two streets along the canal, Truong Sa and Hoang Sa. The total length of the streets is 15.7 kilometres.

The Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal is around 33 square kilometres and runs through seven districts: 1, 3, 10, Phu Nhuan, Tan Binh, Go Vap and Binh Thanh. These districts include more than 1.2 million residents living near the canal which has been seriously polluted for many years.

The Ho Chi Minh City environmental sanitation (Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Basin) project is one of the city's large-scale environmental projects, which plays a key role in the city's socio-economic development, according to Nguyen Hoang Quan, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee.-VNA