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HCMC proposes use of Japanese ODA for metro line

Released at: 13:05, 29/08/2016

HCMC proposes use of Japanese ODA for metro line

Photo: Duc Anh

Southern city asks that $2.8 billion in ODA loans be set aside for Metro Line No. 3a.

by Khanh Chi

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) consider the use of Japanese ODA loans for the funding of the two-phase construction of the Urban Metro Line No. 3a project, from Ben Thanh to Tan Kien.

A representative from the Project Department at the city’s People’s Committee confirmed with VET that “the city has submitted an option of adding the project, with two phases, into the portfolio of those using Japanese ODA loans in the 2016-2018 period.”

Metro Line No. 3a is an extension route stretching to the west of Metro Line No. 1 from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien. Upon completion it will be the city’s most important radial urban railway line, linking Suoi Tien Bus Station with Ben Thanh Station and the Western Bus Station.

The line will have a total length of 19.8 km, both underground and aboveground. Its depot will be located at Tan Kien commune in Binh Chanh district and the project will be divided into two phases. Phase 1, from Ben Thanh to the Western Bus Station, is 9.7 km in length, all underground, with total investment of an estimated $1.82 billion. Phase 2, from the Western Bus Station to Tan Kien Station is 10.1 km in length.

Tan Kien Depot has an area of 20.1 ha and will be designed in line with the transport capacity of the Suoi Tien to Tan Kien line and the Hiep Binh Phuoc to Tan Kien line, with an expectation of catering to 58 six-wagon trains and 37 operating trains.

According to the adjusted traffic planning for Ho Chi Minh City to 2020 and vision to 2020, the city will have eight radial metro lines and outer rings along with five highways and three tram lines or monorails.

The city currently only has Metro Line No. 1 and Metro Line No. 2, from Ben Thanh to Tham Luong, under construction. The remaining routes are seeking investment capital or conducting project planning and design.

A few days ago a South Korean investor, GS Engineering & Construction Corporation (GS E&C), proposed expanding its investment in the city’s infrastructure development, especially in transport, to Ho Chi Minh City authorities.

It has invested in the Tan Son Nhat - Binh Loi Outer Ring Road project since 2004, which will be completed in September. It has also been implementing projects in the Thu Thiem urban area and Nha Be district. The company expressed a willingness to participate in additional projects within Metro Line No. 2 and Metro Line No. 5, from the Can Giuoc Bus Station to Sai Gon Bridge.

Ho Chi Minh City will need $22.7 billion for transport infrastructure by 2020, and up to $46 billion over the next ten years, according to Mr. Tran Du Lich from the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Economics.

The city must socialize these projects, with public land resources being provided in exchange for infrastructure investment. It should also reach out to large corporations, State-owned enterprises, and investment companies for funding.

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