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Oct 14, 2019 / 16:33

Vietnam to complete bidding process for national expressway project by next August

Total investment capital for 11 sub-projects is estimated at VND102.5 trillion (US$4.41 billion), including 50.8 trillion (US$2.18 billion) from state capital, and the remaining VND51.7 trillion (US$2.22 billion) from private sector.

The procurement process for sub-component projects of the Eastern North-South expressway project is set to complete by next August at the earliest, according to a government report. 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
The Eastern North-South expressway project is of national priority for investment in the 2017 – 2020 period, which includes 11 sub-projects with total length of 654 kilometers running through 13 provinces and cities, of which three will be financed from state budget and eight under the public private partnership (PPP) and build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangements. 

The report revealed total investment capital for 11 sub-projects is estimated at VND102.5 trillion (US$4.41 billion), including 50.8 trillion (US$2.18 billion) of state capital, and the remaining VND51.7 trillion (US$2.22 billion) sourced from the private sector. 

As of present, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) has completed survey work, technical specifications and financial estimation for eight BOT projects, and the appraisal process is scheduled to be completed in November 2019. 

On October 10, the MoT announced an invitation for domestic bidders to submit preliminary proposals for these sub-projects, following the cancellation of the international bidding process in late September. 

The minimum time required for bidders to prepare their bids is 30 days, so the preliminary bidding process is expected to begin in November. 

This would follow a 30 days of evaluation and another 40 days for appraisal. In a favorable scenario, the preliminary process would be completed in February 2020. 

Under the protocol, the MoT would then open the tender for bidders having qualified preliminary process in a maximum time span of 270 days, including the appraisal works for procurement plan in 40 days, and 20 days for bidding documents. By April 2020, the MoT is scheduled to issue the bidding documents. 

Investors are given at least 60 days to prepare their proposals with the deadline set for June 2020, while the evaluation process is 90 days and another 50 days for approving the results. 

With such timeline, the MoT would complete the bidding process for investors by November 2020. However, the ministry is committed to speeding up the process, so that by the end of August 2020, investors for eight BOT projects would be identified. 

Regarding the cancellation of the international bidding process, the MoT stressed as project owner, it has the rights to do so without explanation. 

According to the MoT, as of the end of July, two months since the issuance of bidding documents, the MoT’s project management units had received 60 proposals. Chinese contractors made up the majority among those proposals with 30 (under the form of joint-venture or single entity) and submitted proposals in all eight sub-component projects, the other 15 proposals were from investors of South Korea, France and the Philippines, and the remaining 15 from Vietnamese enterprises. 

The evaluation of these proposals showed no one was qualified for preliminary process in four sub-component projects; only one proposal in each of two projects; one project with over two proposals and one with over three proposals qualified for preliminary evaluation. 

As a result, the number of bidders qualifying for preliminary qualification is low, leading to low competitiveness of the tender, said the MoT in a statement. 

Under this circumstance, the MoT decided to cancel the result of preliminary qualification process under the form of international bidding, and opted for opening new domestic tender for all eight sub-component projects. 

This would help “ensure national security and enhance capacity of Vietnamese enterprises in fields of infrastructure development,” added the MoT.