The state-owned Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) has announced a plan to privatize five major expressways, including three in operation, in an effort to restructure its capital for investment in further projects.
This represents the first time Vietnam has privatized an expressway in a move to reduce pressure on public investment and the state exchequer, VEC said in a recent statement.
“VEC is actively coordinating with the Ministry of Transport to study relevant legal mechanisms, conduct market research and draft the best plans to attract local and foreign investment,” Giao Thong Van Tai (Transport) newspaper quoted a company representative as saying.
The five involved expressways include Cau Gie – Ninh Binh, Noi Bai – Lao Cai, Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay, Da Nang – Quang Ngai and Ben Luc – Long Thanh.
Currently, Cau Gie – Ninh Binh, Noi Bai – Lao Cai and a section of HCMC – Long Thanh – Dau Giay expressways are open to traffic. The rest part of HCMC – Long Thanh – Dau Giay will finish next year while Da Nang – Quang Ngai and Ben Luc – Long Thanh will be completed in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The five highways, which allow the top speeds of up to 120 kph (75 mph), have a total length of 540 km (335 miles).
These projects cost a total of nearly VND125.6 trillion (US$5.9 billion), of which 57 percent was drawn from the state exchequer and the rest from bond issuance and ordinary capital resources (OCR) from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Since mid-2012, highways built by VEC funding have served more than 22 million vehicles, with about 40,000 on a daily basis.