A megaproject criticized for being environmentally unfriendly in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa has lost its investment license for failing to raise enough capital on time as committed.
The provincial administration has pulled the plug on the Phoenix Beach project, located east to Tran Phu Street in the province’s resort city of Nha Trang, spokesperson Huynh Ngoc Bong said on Friday.
The VND26.25 trillion (US$1.25 billion) project, developed by India’s Dewan International Vietnam, consists of more than 60 construction units and spans 74 hectares along the famed Nha Trang beach.
According to its investment license, Dewan International Vietnam has a registered capital of VND2.1 trillion ($100 million) and is required to find that sum by June 30, otherwise it will face a license revocation.
But the developer failed to meet the deadline, which results in its losing the license, according to the spokesperson.
Dewan International Vietnam previously missed the capital deadline twice, on January 7 and May 11, according to Khanh Hoa administration.
The company was thus requested to return its investment license and stopped all activities related to the Phoenix Beach project.
The Indian firm was licensed in October 2014 to carry out the project, consisting of many resort facilities and skyscrapers on the Nha Trang beach and on a land plot running south to Tran Phu Bridge.
The project is also expected to cover part of the surface of Nha Trang Bay, a national attraction that is supposed to be kept intact.
The project, scheduled for completion in 2020, is included in an approved zoning for development east of Tran Phu – Pham Van Dong, two main streets in the resort city known for its beautiful beaches.
Dewan International Vietnam had erected signs claiming its ‘sovereignty’ over the beach area earmarked for its Phoenix Beach project, but had to remove all of them in May following an order from the province’s administration.
Khanh Hoa Chairman Nguyen Chien Thang said in May the Phoenix Beach project, as well as the scores of skyscrapers constructed on several streets in Nha Trang in recent years, will enable the beach city to “become even more beautiful than Hawaii.”
He said Nha Trang is “a municipality, not an ecotourism area,” and thus needs to be developed in a different way from what “a shortsighted minority” wants it to be.