Vietnam speeds up construction of North-South Expressway hinh anh 1Vehicles on a completed section of the North-South Expressway (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) is striving to complete the North-South Expressway by the end of 2022.

Component projects shifted to public investment model

Initially, a total of eight sections out of 11 sections of the expressway were meant to be invested in the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The MoT called on foreign and domestic investors to submit documents of interest in the project. However, last September, the Government decided that only domestic companies will be entitled to construct the North-South Expressway.

After ruling out foreign contractors, the ministry shortlisted 32 of the 93 bids received by the North-South Expressway management board.

If the PPP model was used for these projects, some problems might arise and cause the projects to slow down, a transport expert said. For instance, if public bidding failed to select a competent contractor, or if the projects are not attractive enough to investors, the transport ministry will have to seek another investment model.

Earlier, the ministry called for shifting the investment model from PPP to public investment model for three component projects - the Mai Son–Highway 45 Expressway, Highway 45–Nghi Son Expressway and Phan Thiet–Dau Giay section - as they are on the urgent list and needed to be brought into operation soon.

After receiving the National Assembly’s approval of the change to public investment model, the ministry has accelerated bidding procedures so as to kick start construction in the end of September as requested by the Prime Minister.

To be more specific, the ministry approved adjustments to the three projects on July 30, completed approval for technical design and estimate of tender packages, and will release bidding documents for all 13 construction bidding packages of the projects on August 8.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The ordered competent authorities to carry out bidding process in a transparent manner and in line with current bidding regulations.

“The bidding must select the best contractors who have considerable construction experience and financial and operational capacity, along with consultants and supervisors capable of ensuring the projects are carried out on schedule”, The affirmed.

The minister said that construction is underway for three other public investment projects of Cao Bo-Mai Son, Cam Lo-La Son, and My Thuan 2 bridge, adding construction of the Cao Bo-Mai Son and Cam Lo-La Son sections are expected to complete in December 2021 while completion of My Thuan 2 bridge is slated for the end of 2023.

With five PPP component projects, the selection of investors will be done in December and construction will begin in the beginning of 2021, The said.

Regarding land clearance work, 87.3 percent of the workload has been completed for 11 component projects, and the remaining work will be finished in the beginning of Quarter 4.

Admitting that the building of resettlement areas and site clearance in 13 localities faces maze of challenges, The said his ministry is focusing on instructing the work to meet schedule.

Ensuring on-schedule capital disbursement for North-South Expressway

Under the National Assembly’s Resolution No.52/2017/QH14, the Prime Minister has allocated 49.5 trillion VND for the eastern route of the North-South Expressway project during 2016-2020. Of the total amount, more than 16.35 trillion VND was allocated for specific plans in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

This year, the transport ministry has already disbursed over 4.8 trillion VND, accounting for 51.3 percent of the total assigned disbursement. The remaining amount will be disbursed in the last months of the year.

Vietnam speeds up construction of North-South Expressway hinh anh 2Land clearance for the North-South Expressway (Photo: VNA) 

The ministry has ordered investors and project management boards to accelerate  procedures to adjust detailed disbursement plan, making it suitable to real situation.

Particularly, carrying out the Government’s Decree No.84/NQ-CP dated May 29, 2020 and the public investment law in 2019, the ministry decided to transfer capital from projects with slow disbursement to those with better disbursement progress.

“The ministry has made adjustment to 12 projects so far, with total capital of 679 billion VND”, The said.

The North-South Expressway covers 2,109km, extending from the northern mountainous province of Lang Son to the southernmost province of Ca Mau. Once completed, it is expected to become a backbone connecting the entire country. A number of sections covering 601km are already under construction./.