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Green light given for phase 1 of Ho Chi Minh City expressway extension near Cambodian border

Green light given for phase 1 of Ho Chi Minh City expressway extension near Cambodian border

Friday, June 30, 2023, 09:17 GMT+7
Green light given for phase 1 of Ho Chi Minh City expressway extension near Cambodian border
National Highway 22, which connects Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh Province. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese Ministry of Transport has granted approval for phase 1 of the Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai Expressway project, which will run 50 kilometers from the southern metropolis toward the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan greenlighted investment in the Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai Expressway project at a recent meeting with representatives from various ministries, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, and the People’s Committee of Tay Ninh Province, which borders Cambodia.

Tuan gave a nod to project research results presented by the Southern Transport Engineering Design Inc. (TEDI South), which proposed that the new expressway begin at Ring Road 3 in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City and run parallel to National Highway 22 before ending five kilometers from the Moc Bai border gate in Ben Cau District, Tay Ninh Province.

The first 23.7 kilometers of the expressway will be situated in Ho Chi Minh City while the remaining 26.3 kilometers will traverse Tay Ninh Province, according to a pre-feasibility study report submitted by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to the Ministry of Planning and Investment for appraisal.

The first phase of the project will be developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model with a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract. 

It will feature four lanes and allow vehicles to travel at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour. 

Total investment needed for the project will sit at over VND16.7 trillion (US$708.5 million), inclusive of interest during the construction period.

Of the total, over VND7.4 trillion ($313.8 million) will be sourced from a state budget earmarked for site clearance, and the rest will be mobilized by the investor.

The investor of the project will recoup capital over 18 years and one month.

Regarding connecting the Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai Expressway with Cambodia’s under-construction Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway as per a memorandum of understanding signed between the Vietnamese Minister of Transport and the Cambodian Minister of Transport and Public Works in 2017, authorities in Tay Ninh had previously expressed their concerns over its necessity and feasibility.

The People’s Committee of Tay Ninh stated that the infrastructure in the vicinity of the Moc Bai border gate has received substantial investments to fulfill the infrastructural requirements for the trading of goods in the province for the next seven to eight years.

Meanwhile, the proposed linkage with Cambodia would lead to a rise in the project’s investment expenses due to the extended route length, thereby influencing the feasibility of conducting investment research using the PPP investment format.

Additionally, the under-prepraration state of related plans poses challenges for the timely initiation of such a road connection.

Therefore, the Ministry of Transport has opted to pursue further research and collaboration with Cambodian authorities to develop an optimal plan for connecting the Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai and Phnom Penh-Ba Vet Expressways in the future, instead of the present time.

In addition, the ministry urged the People’s Committee of Tay Ninh to promptly devise an investment plan for the expansion of roads in the Moc Bai border gate area, in order to accommodate the growing demands of trade and increased traffic resulting from the operation of the two expressways.

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Bao Anh - Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre News

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