CAN THO – Deo Ca Group has expressed interest in investing in the An Huu-Cao Lanh expressway project linking Tien Giang and Dong Thap provinces in the Mekong Delta under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
Tran Tri Quang, director of the Dong Thap Department of Transport, told The Saigon Times on August 5 that even though Deo Ca Group had proposed developing the project under the PPP format, the project is under the authority of the Ministry of Transport, so the department could only receive the proposal and report it to the provincial government.
Quang noted that the projected expressway is set to run parallel to the existing National Highway 30.
Earlier, at a working session between the Dong Thap government and a delegation from the National Assembly, Nguyen Van Duong, chairman of the provincial government, said that if the project was funded by the State, it would require a total investment of VND5.38 trillion.
However, if the project is developed under the PPP format with a build-operate-transfer contract, over VND5.6 trillion would be needed due to bank loan interest payments.
Project Management Board No. 7 is currently studying both investment formats and will report their conclusions to the Ministry of Transport, according to the Dong Thap chairman.
Duong, however, said that under the PPP format, the project is likely to take longer to be completed due to cumbersome legal procedures. Moreover, private investors will contribute a mere 29.4% to the total amount of VND5.6 trillion since they are allowed to operate the project for no longer than 18 years. As such, the investment efficiency will not be high.
Accordingly, the provincial government proposed that central State agencies approve the public investment format for the An Huu-Cao Lanh expressway project.
Dong Thap and Tien Giang provinces will extract some VND2.1 trillion from their budgets to pour into the project, which is set to run through the two Mekong Delta localities, while the remaining VND3.2 trillion, or 60% of the total cost, will come from the central State budget.
Addressing the working session, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that members of the NA Standing Committee supported the province’s proposal.
Once in place, the 30-kilometer expressway project will play a key role as it will connect the Mekong Delta localities with the HCMC-Can Tho Expressway and Cambodia, stated Le Minh Hoan, provincial Party chief of Dong Thap.
By Trung Chanh