Construction of Metro Line 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, the first in the country, will begin on August 28, according to the Municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR).

Preparatory work has wrapped up after an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract to build the overhead section of the metro's first route was signed on May 16, said Le Khac Huynh, Deputy Director of MAUR.

The first 17.1-km stretch of the route is the overhead section, running from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to the Suoi Tien Area in District 9.

The overhead section, from Ba Son Shipyard in District 1, running through Van Thanh and Tan Cang in Binh Thanh District will take the Hanoi Highway to Suoi Tien Park . It will have 11 stations.

Under the contract signed with the MAUR, a consortium of Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and Vietnam's Civil Engineering Construction Corp No 6 (Cienco 6) will design, survey, execute, supply equipment, test, operate, offer utility services, and maintain stations of the 17.1-km overhead section of HCM City's Metro Line 1.

The 19.7-km line - with the additional section stretching 2.6 kilometres and running underground - is divided into three packages.

The other packages are for construction of the underground section between Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard and for mechanical-electrical devices and maintenance.

Line 1 will totally cost 47 trillion VND (2.25 billion USD), with 88.4 percent raised through Japanese official development assistance and the rest coming from the city budget.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2017 and the first metro line will become operational in 2018.

According to MAUR, line 2 will run from Thu Thiem Pennisula in District 2 to the Tay Ninh Bus Station in District 12, passing through Pham Hong Thai, Cach Mang Thang Tam and Truong Chinh streets. Out of the main section's total length of 11.3km, 9.6km will be underground.

"Construction of the Metro Line 2 will be divided into two phases. The first phase will cover the section from Ben Thanh Market to Tham Luong and the city authority aims to complete construction of this section by 2018," said Huynh.

The HCM City authority has also approved the basic designs for Line 3A from Ben Thanh Market to Tan Kien and Line 3B from the Cong Hoa Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Hiep Binh Phuoc in Thu Duc District.

Line 4 will run from Lang Cha Ca Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Van Thanh Park in Binh Thanh District.

Line 5, stretching some 17km, will run from Sai Gon Bridge in District 2 to Can Giuoc in District 8.

Line 6, 6-km long, will run from Ba Queo in Tan Binh District to Phu Lam in District 6.

HCM City has accelerated works on the city's metro projects, aiming to bring the network into operation by 2025, said Huynh.-VNA