Vietnam to borrow another $500 mln for city metro line

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Vietnam will sign an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) later this quarter to take out a US$500 million loan to fund Ho Chi Minh City's second metro line, Vietnamnet reported on Monday.

With the new loan, the ongoing project's investment will climb to over $1.37 billion with $1.048 billion coming in loans from ADB and KfW Entwicklungsbank (the German Development Bank), according to the online newspaper.

The remainder of the funding comes from the Vietnamese government.

In the meantime, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Monday submitted a written proposal to the government office and the State Bank of Vietnam on plans to complete construction on the project by the end of 2017, instead of 2016 as had been planned earlier.

Construction got underway on the 20 km track in 2010. Running above and under the ground, the track will connect the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 with the An Suong Bus Station in Hoc Mon District.

Trains will travel at up to 80 kilometers per hour.

Construction broke ground on the city's first track segment in February, 2008. The 19.7km line will connect Ben Thanh in District 1 to Suoi Tien in District 9.

It was initially planned with the investment of $1 billion. But, in July, 2010 city authorities asked the central government to increase the project budget to nearly $2.5 billion, citing inflation.

Under a plan to develop HCMC's traffic and transport infrastructure through 2020, the city plans to spend a projected $7.5 billion build six metro rail lines, with a total length of 109km.

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