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ADB to provide huge loan for road project
Work to start on Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway
By Song Nguyen – The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The Ministry of Transport has announced the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a US$1.1 billion loan for an expressway connecting Hanoi and Lao Cai.
The ADB loan, the largest supplied by the regional lender to Vietnam so far, will make it possible for Vietnam to start work on the 264-km Noi Bai-Lao Cai road.
The project owner, Vietnam Expressway Corp. (VEC), will issue bonds underwritten by the Government to mobilize around US$120 million as counter capital for the project.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last November asked the State Bank of Vietnam to finalise all related documents for prompt negotiations and signing of a credit agreement with ADB.
Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway is seen as a key project to foster trade and tourism in the northwestern area.
Under a plan prepared by the project owner, the road from Hanoi to the upland province of Lao Cai will be divided into two phases. The first phase with a length of 245-km will be developed in three years and the second phase after 2020.
The expressway, which will link Noi Bai Airport and Lao Cai which borders China, will allow for a maximum speed of 80-100 kilometers per hour.
According to the project consultant, Transport and Engineering Design Inc. (TEDI), the road will run along the Red River and pass through the mountain sides and valleys, thus making it a road full of beautiful landscapes.
The expressway is part of the economic corridor running from Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province, to the Vietnamese port city of Haiphong, passing through Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
* Work on a 13-km urban mass rapid transit line will start some time this month, the online newspaper Vietnamnet quoted Vu Xuan Hong, director of the Vietnam Railway Department under the Ministry of Transport.
Some components of the project are under way such as a feasibility study, additional surveys, and investment project formulation at a total cost of more than VND6.7 billion on top of the project’s capital of VND9 trillion.
Cat Linh-Ha Dong rail line is one of seven MRT routes that will be developed in the capital city. Urban railway service will be ready by 2013-2014.