The Ministry of Transport has sent a document to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposing the use of official development assistance for building Rach Mieu 2 bridge in the Mekong Delta region, reports baodautu.vn.
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) made the proposal after the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project connecting the two provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre had proved financially unfeasible under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) investment format.
The document suggests PM Phuc assign both the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Ministry of Finance, to work alongside the MoT in order to seek official development assistance (ODA) and foreign concessional loans, with a view to hastening the implementation of the project.
|Heavy traffic jams at the two-lane Rach Mieu bridge. (Photo: VIR)
The MoT attributed the unfeasible BOT execution of the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project to several ongoing BOT projects throughout National Highway 60 which stretches 115 km in total.
The first phase of Rach Mieu bridge project was inaugurated back in 2009 with toll collection underway on the Km4+617 section of the highway.
Meanwhile, the second phase is being executed to expand four sections connecting Rach Mieu bridge to Co Chien bridge. This phase is scheduled to be completed during 2019 with toll collection lasting until 2034.
Additionally, National Highway 60 is also home to the Co Chien bridge project which connects the two southern provinces of Ben Tre and Tra Vinh. This project was first put into service in 2015 with the toll collection expected to end by 2027.
The MoT had previously worked alongside Ben Tre province to find investors for the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project, including those who had invested in the Rach Mieu bridge project. However, this scheme failed as many potential financiers felt that the project had high levels of risk with unspecific returns on their investment.
Nguyen Nhat, MoT Deputy Minister, said that the use of the State budget to buy ongoing BOT projects along National Highway 60 is impossible as the country’s financial resources are limited. This also goes against the nation’s policy of incentivizing private investments in infrastructure projects.
Earlier, the MoT had met with representatives from the Republic of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). They revealed that the EDCF is likely to consider funding for the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project if the Vietnamese side makes a proposal.
The construction of Rach Mieu 2 bridge is an urgent need to ease traffic jams and boost socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta region as Rach Mieu bridge is currently overloaded.VOV