Foreign investors eye city's metro lines

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The metro projects 3a, 3b, 4 and 6 in HCM City have caught the attention of many foreign investors, according to the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways. The city plans to develop seven metro lines from now to 2020.

Except Metro Line No. 1 (Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien) and Metro Line No. 2 (Ben Thanh-Tham Luong), the others are still awaiting investors. Recently, Italian-Thai Development Public Limited Company of Thailand has sought permission for constructing Metro Line No. 4 (Ben Cat-Nguyen Van Linh) under the form of public-private partnership (PPP). The company is also interested in the monorail lines No. 2 and No. 3, said Le Khac Huynh, deputy head of the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways. Metro Line No. 5 from Bay Hien Intersection to the Saigon Bridge (in the first phase) has also received good news. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a meeting with the HCM City government last Wednesday agreed to  offer the project a financial aid of $500 million, part of its total   fund for Vietnam in the fiscal years 2014-2016. Meanwhile, the European   Investment Bank (EIB) pledged to grant the project some 200 million euros, or around $257 million. Loan contracts will likely be signed in the middle of this year. Previously, the Spanish government promised to provide Metro Line 5 with 500 million euros, but later cut the fund to 200 million euros as the country is affected by economic woes. In addition, several investors from the US and the UK have shown interest in the metro lines 3a, 3b, and 6. Talking to the Daily about the progress of Metro Line No. 1, Huynh said topographic survey had been  finished and geological survey was now 80 percent done. The contractor will put up fences along the Hanoi Highway late this month to start work   on the 17.1-km overhead section. As for the underground section stretching 2.6 kilometers from Ben Thanh Market to Ba Son Shipyard, it is calling for bids and expected to get going in the first quarter of   2014. Meanwhile, Metro Line No. 2 is accelerating site clearance compensation. At the same time, the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways is inviting bids for its construction packages so that  the project can get off the ground in 2013.




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