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Vietnam North-South Expressway let put out to tender

15:58 | 16/04/2020

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said on April 14 that the component projects of Vietnam North-South Expressway will be put out to bid.

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vietnam north south expressway let put out to tender
Photo: VnExpress

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 funds 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 optimizeise undisbursed public investment capital and complete the project within the timetable set by the National Assembly, reported by Vietnamnet. .

Up to now, for some reasons we could not choose international investors, while the selection of domestic investors was also unsuccessful. So when we switched to public investment, we will have many concerns. According to Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, Former President of Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, "if the North-South Expressway component projects do not openly and legally bid, it will raise public doubts, businesses cannot compete and it assumes risks for those who decide.on planning and project management ”, according to Accompany.

Thanh's views were echoed by Dr. Tran Chung, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Road Traffic Investors, who supports the bid option.

vietnam north south expressway let put out to tender
Photo: Vietnam News

Military enterprises should be given priority to take over essential projects in sections that have major national security and defense 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, reported by Vietnamnet.

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 defense 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 established in the Nghi Son (Thanh Hoa) - Cau Giat (Nghe An) section of National Highway 1A under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, according to Vietnamnet.

An economist said that to solve the interrelated relationships among interest groups and the proposals of private enterprises such as Phuong Thanh or Cienco 4, the best option is still bidding. In case of deciding to appoint a contractor, it is necessary to set up a council of independent experts who are professional and dedicated as bidders so that the interest groups cannot run.

vietnam north south expressway let put out to tender
Photo: VTV

According to a transport expert, there are provisions in the Public Investment Law that allow contractors to be designated. However, whether the transfer of high-speed projects to public investment is to be designated as a contractor is not subject to the official opinion of the Government and the National Assembly, according to Accompany.

On April 14, Minister The held a video conference with representatives from 13 cities and provinces 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, he added, urging the ministry and forth to take drastic action in this regard.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The also asked sub-project management boards to specify the number of bidding packages and accelerate site clearance and other relevant works so that, when the legislature revised the sought-after transformation, construction can begin in August.

Several sections of the North-South Expressway have been put into operation or are under construction.

Once completed, the expressway is to become a backbone connecting the length of the country and will help attract foreign investment, and create more momentum for socioeconomic development, reported by Vietnam plus.

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