Transport Minister: North-South Expressway to be put out to bid
The Ministry of Transport will put component projects of the North-South Expressway out to bid, Minister Nguyen Van The told the Vietnam News Agency on April 14.
Transport Minister Nguyen Van The works with officials of Ninh Binh province on the implementation of the North-South Expressway.
According to the plan on developing Vietnam’s expressway network to 2020 with vision to 2030, the North-South Expressway is to be 2,109 km long and stretch from the northern mountainous province of Lang Son to the southernmost province of Ca Mau.
It comprises 11 sub-projects, with three set to be funded by the State budget and the remaining eight implemented under the public-private partnership (PPP) format.
However, the eight PPP sub-projects have received Government approval to be converted into the public investment model.
The transformation aims to optimise undisbursed public investment capital and complete the project within the timetable set by the National Assembly.
Nguyen Van Thanh, former Chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, said component projects must be put up for open tender and be in line with the law in order to avoid any public doubt or risk for both decision-makers and project managers and must also ensure business competitiveness.
Thanh’s views were echoed by Dr. Tran Chung, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Road Traffic Investors, who supports the bid option.
Military enterprises should be given priority to take over essential projects in sections that have major national security and defence implications.
Vu Duc Nhan, Deputy General Director of the Phuong Thanh Company, said that either appointing contractors or selecting them through a bidding process has advantages and disadvantages. Under either, he added, the top priority should be transparency.
Selection must be based on businesses’ financial, human, and technological resources, among other matters, in particular their experience in expressway construction, he said.
The appointment of contractors under the defence ministry should only be done for certain sections, he added, suggesting a bidding process for the remainder so that all enterprises can take part.
The Cienco 4 Group has proposed the Ministry of Transport appoint it as contractor or investor of the section running from Thanh Hoa province to Ha Tinh province in the north-central region, as the company has already invested in the Nghi Son (Thanh Hoa) - Cau Giat (Nghe An) section of National Highway 1A under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
Minister The held a video conference with representatives from 13 cities and provinces on April 14 regarding site clearance along the entire North-South Expressway.
He said that up to 70 percent of site clearance work in the 11 component projects has been completed to date. The work must be fully completed prior to June so that construction can begin in August, he added, urging the ministry and localities to take drastic action in this regard./.
The Government Office said Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has ordered the setting up of a managing unit for the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway project.
The key Eastern Cluster of the North-South Expressway venture has run aground, prompting the Ministry of Transport to reconsider investment scenarios to improve the bankability of each component project