The Ha Long - Hai Phong highway project (Source: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) - Chairman of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long has asked contractors to quicken the construction of Ha Long - Van Don expressway, enabling it to connect with the Ha Long - Hai Phong - Hanoi expressway and the Van Don International Airport.

He also asked contractors to mobilise equipment and manpower to completely fix erosion areas on the whole route, including Km26 400, Km27 950 and Km51.

The 60-km-Ha Long-Van Don expressway project is implemented with total investment of about 12 trillion VND (over 511.9 million USD) by the BOT Bien Cuong Joint Stock Company. Its construction started in September 2015.

Once completed, the project is hoped to create traffic connections in the economic triangle axis of Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh and form the Ha Noi-Hai Phong-Ha Long-Van Don-Mong Cai expressway route, contributing to easing traffic flow on the National Highway 18.

It will also help shorten travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long and the Van Don economic zone, thus attracting more investment and boosting the socio-economic development of Quang Ninh province and the northern key economic region.

The Ha Long-Van Don expressway passes through the cities of Ha Long and Cam Pha, and the districts of Van Don and Hoanh Bo. To speed up the construction progress and ensure the completion of the route by the end of December 2018, the Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee has requested localities to cooperate with the investor to roll out plans and measures to solve all difficulties facing the construction.

Over 60 billion VND sourced from the provincial budget will be spent on the settlement of difficulties related to land clearance.

Previously, on September 1, the Ha Long-Hai Phong expressway was put into operation, connecting directly to the Ha Noi-Hai Phong expressway, contributing to reducing travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long to only 1.5 hours.

Playing an important role in the Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh economic triangle and serving as a gateway for trade between Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has been making several breakthroughs to develop local transport infrastructure and meet the burgeoning economic growth.

According to Long, it would take the province 10 years to complete its comprehensive, modern transport infrastructure if it only relied on State allocation and local budget. However, Quang Ninh has made a quantum leap with various measures taken to lure private investment.

Thanks to concerted efforts to improve the business climate, within three years, the locality secured 36 trillion VND (1.53 billion USD) in transport projects, three quarters of which were mobilised from the private sector. A line-up of investors have come to the province to branch out key transport projects under build-transfer (BT), build-operate-transfer (BOT), and public-private partnership (PPP) contracts.

Together with other local transport projects such as the Hai Phong-Ha Long and Ha Long-Van Don highways, as well as upgrades to National Highway 18, key projects are hoped to improve the province’s transport infrastructure system, thus contributing to local socio-economic development and promoting local tourism and increasing the potential of border and marine economies. 

In addition, the Bach Dang bridge connecting the northern port city of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh was put into operation in early September. It helps shorten the distance from Hanoi to Quang Ninh from 175km to 125km, thus cutting the travel time between the two localities.

Furthermore, the Van Don International Airport, invested at a total cost of nearly 7.5 trillion VND (319.47 million USD), has stayed in the limelight of the local infrastructure system. This is the very first airport project in Vietnam to apply the BOT investment model.

Vice Director of the provincial Department of Transport Bui Hong Minh said that the BOT projects have created momentum to develop tourism, enhance trade exchange, while also improving its competitive capacity and bettering the quality of life for local people.

BOT and PPP investment models should be applied in a flexible manner and local authorities should create a friendly business environment to make Quang Ninh a more attractive destination to powerful investors. -VNA