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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Major infrastructure projects move at slow pace

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HCMC – Major infrastructure projects, especially in the southern key economic zone, are moving at a snail’s pace due mainly to slow site clearance and capital disbursement, according to a report the Government recently sent to the National Assembly.

As of late May 2020, the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway project was nearly 18% behind schedule due to later-than expected capital disbursement. The project that commenced in mid-2014 was scheduled for completion in 2020. The VND31.3 trillion expressway is 57.8 kilometers long and funded by official development assistance.

Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, too, is only 40% complete, 25% behind schedule. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) project requires a total investment of nearly VND12.7 trillion. The contractors including Tuan Loc Construction Investment Corporation, BMT Construction Investment JSC and CII Bridges and Roads Investment JSC are finding it challenging to complete it by the second quarter of 2021.

North-South Expressway is also facing site clearance delays and only 78% of the project site has been cleared. Its components in Thanh Hoa, Dong Nai and Khanh Hoa provinces have seen site clearance work 65.4%, 58.3% and 29.6% completed, respectively. Therefore, site clearance will not be done by the second quarter of 2020 as planned.

Construction on the first metro line in HCMC, which links Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Park in District 9, began in August 2012 and is scheduled for completion this year. However, protracted adjustments to the investment, technical design of the 19.7-kilometer urban rail ine and late capital disbursement have impeded progress and it is only over 70% complete.

As of April, package CP1a, which comprises a tunnel linking Ben Thanh Market Station and the Opera House Station, was 66.6% complete, while package CP1b to construct another tunnel between the Ba Son and Opera House stations was 82.2% complete.

Meanwhile, 82.2% of package CP2 comprising an elevated track and depots was completed, while CP3, consisting of the purchase and installation of electrical systems, the rolling stock and rail, was 52.2% ready.

The target for the project is some 85% by the end of this year.

The Long Thanh International Airport project is three months behind schedule. Site clearance for phase one of the project has lagged, while three out of five resettlement area projects have not yet been approved.

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