Authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh have approved the feasibility report of the Quang Ninh airport project that will be built on a build-operate-transfer basis.

As planned, the airport will be built on 248.6ha in Van Don island district's Economic Zone, with an estimated investment capital of 7.49 trillion VND (351.6 million USD), including the costs for site clearance.

The district is required to complete the site clearance process before March 30 this year, in order to begin construction of the airport in April, right after the investor is selected.

The project is a joint venture of the Korea Airport Corporation, Joinus Vietnam Joint Stock Company and Posco E&C Joint – Stock Company. It's estimated that the investors will need 45 years from the time the airport becomes operational to recoup their investment capital, the longest time needed by an infrastructure project.

Earlier, a primary proposal sent to the provincial People's Committee by the investors said the project would have a capacity of handling 6.6 million passengers with a total investment capital of nearly 654 million USD (not including the costs for site clearance). Twenty-one percent of the capital would be paid by investors and the remainder was expected to come from commercial loans.

The airport is in the list of projects for which the Quang Ninh authorities have been inviting investment capital. The leading project is a casino project in the Van Don Economic Zone, which is to have between 4 billion USD and 5 billion USD in investment and is scheduled to open by 2019. It is expected to be a centre of culture, sport, tourism, trade and health services, besides education and training, environment and agriculture.

The list, comprising 35 projects in the fields of industrial parks and urban areas, will also include projects of infrastructure for transport such as the 153.3km-long, four-lane Ha Long – Van Don – Mong Cai highway, a link to Quang Ninh Airport, and upgrading of national highway 18's 25.6km-long section from Ha Long city to Mong Duong ward in Cam Pha city.

The Prime Minister has decided to include the Van Don Economic Zone in the group of coastal economic zones that will receive investment capital from the State budget in the 2013-15 period.

Besides being given investment preference as per current regulations, the Van Don Economic Zone will benefit from special policies such as being given priority for mobilising the official development assistance (ODA) funds for a number of important infrastructure projects in the zone, and receiving a maximum of 50 percent of counterpart capital for the government's ODA project.

Other projects such as the airport, the Van Don information and technology infrastructure, the Van Don International Hospital and the cross-island road system projects will be considered for being allocated part of the State budget, the government's bond funds and ODA as well.

The zone is allowed to borrow capital from the government's foreign loans to carry out projects to develop tourism ports and marinas.

In 2014, the province attracted FDI of nearly 820 million USD, double that of 2013, bringing the total FDI projects to 105, worth more than 5 billion USD. The province also lured 25.6 trillion VND (1.22 billion USD) from domestic investors, marking an increase of 18 percent compared with that of the year before.

The province aims to receive investment capital of about 1.7 billion USD (not excluding funds from the State budget) this year.-VNA