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Transport Minister commits to completing Long Thanh airport project as planned

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has committed to coordinating with the relevant ministries and agencies to complete the first phase of the Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province and put it into operation at the end of 2025 as earlier scheduled.

At a question-and-answer session on November 12, as part of the ongoing National Assembly’s (NA) second sitting, Minister The said his ministry sees public investment, especially in traffic infrastructure projects, as an important task in 2020 and 2021, the local media reported.

As of September, the Ministry of Transport’s pubic investment disbursement reached 61.2% of the year’s plan while the country’s average rate was only 47.8%. However, The admitted that work on two key national projects—Long Thanh International Airport and North-South Expressway—remained slower than expected.

As for the Long Thanh airport project, the minister said over the past 11 months, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam had completed 75% of a fencing system, which is some nine kilometers long around the airport, and 75% of bomb and mine detection and clearance work.

Regarding the site clearance for the project, The said the NA had allocated VND22 trillion for the project and asked Dong Nai Province to do the job in 2018. However, the site clearance has been slow, and just VND10 trillion has been disbursed for this purpose, meeting 47% of the plan.

He attributed the slower-than-planned site clearance to the construction of residential areas for resettlement, the measuring work and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministry will closely coordinate with Dong Nai to hand over the site for the project as planned. With nearly 1,300 hectares of land being handed over, the progress of the project has been still ensured but the ministry wanted Dong Nai to step up the job.

In March next year, the site leveling and construction packages will be conducted concurrently.

On a monthly basis, the ministry will review the completed workload, compare it with the plan and remove obstacles facing the execution of the project, The noted.

The North-South Expressway project, the Cao Boi-Mai Son and Cam Lo-La Son subprojects, which are funded by the Government, are expected to be completed at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the bidding of public-private partnership (PPP) subprojects has faced multiple difficulties as the number of investors with a strong financial capacity participating in tenders has been small, while many firms wanted to participate in the project as contractors.

In early 2020, the Government proposed and got the NA’s approval to convert the investment format of three subprojects from PPP to public investment and these subprojects are 20%-35% complete.

Two other subprojects whose investment model was also converted to PPP are 2%-5% complete. The Ministry of Transport committed to completing the expressway project by the end of 2023.

In addition, the investor of the project was allowed to prepare capital for the project in six months, but the job has faced multiple obstacles while the deadline is approaching. The Ministry of Transport has held a meeting with the State Bank of Vietnam and the relevant ministries and agencies to eliminate the obstacles.

However, banks have pledged to lend VND6 trillion of the VND9.3 trillion needed for the project. The ministry has worked with investors and banks to access more capital.

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