A view of the first metro line under construction in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: peri.com.vn)
The South Korean government has advanced interest in joining metro projects in Ho Chi Minh City, following the involvement of Japan, Germany and Spain, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
The Korean government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has provided $5 million to support the Vietnamese metropolis in conducting the feasibility study (F/S) of the second phase of 14.5-kilometer metro No. 5.
The Export-Import Bank of Korea, or KEXIM, started in February this year the F/S of a two-kilometer branch metro route linking Tan Son Nhat International Airport after the Korean government agreed to grant $1 million for this project.
Japan earlier provided official development assistance (ODA) for metro route No. 1, which connects District 1 and District 9, and is 19.7 kilometers long. Germany and Spain have also provided ODA for metro routes No. 2 and No. 5.
There metro projects are part of Ho Chi Minh City’s ambitious plan to build up to eight urban railway routes by 2030 to ease traffic problems. The funding for the projects mainly comes from ODA and loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The first phase of metro route No. 5 jumped 47% to 41.38 trillion dong ($1.84 billion) compared to the approved initial cost, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Meanwhile, the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro route, also known as Metro No. 1, costs an estimated 54 trillion dong ($2.4 billion). The 19.7-kolimeter railway was kicked off in August 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Major transport infrastructure projects in Vietnam usually experience cost overruns.