French railway builders eye city’s metro projects

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Hanoi Times English - 34 month(s) ago 7 readings

The Hanoitimes - Several French companies specializing in railway development have expressed interest in HCMC’s metro line projects.

The Hanoitimes - Several French companies specializing in railway development have expressed interest in HCMC’s metro line projects.

Speaking at a meeting between the city’s leaders and the visiting French business mission o­n Thursday, Richard Fostier, president and CEO of Colas Rail Asia Sdn Bhd, said his company could offer solutions for reducing costs of metro line construction. He also sought to learn which investment portfolio and bidding packages his firm could take part in.

Colas Rail has developed many tramways in France and is currently joining a light rail expansion project in Malaysia , he said.

Gilles Péqueux, senior vice president for international business development of France ’s tramway developer Egis, also showed interest in the metro projects that the HCMC government is calling for investment in.

Colas Rail and Egis are members of the French business delegation in railway and urban rail solutions that is paying a visit to Vietnam to look for investment opportunities. The delegation consists of some 20 enterprises operating in the fields of healthcare, infrastructure, transport and energy, with several of them already active in Vietnam .

The mission represents the Movement of the French Enterprises International (MEDEF International), with over 700,000 members being French business owners worldwide. The delegation has visited Cambodia and Hanoi before coming to HCMC.

According to Nguyen Van Quoc, deputy director of the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways, French enterprises can participate in a tender to build 9.5 km of underground track, nine stations, and an elevated section of Metro Line 2. The bidding package is worth US$400 million.

These investors can also join in a package to install an 11-kilometer section of the same metro line.

Since the German government will supply trains for the Metro Line 2 project, French enterprises can o­nly construct underground works and supply tracks. Public bidding will be opened in the middle of this year.

Moreover, French investors can get involved in metro lines 3 and 6 under the format of build-operate-transfer (BOT) or public-private partnership (PPP), said HCMC chairman Le Hoang Quan at the meeting.

The city plans to develop six metro routes with a total length of 120 kilometers. Routes 1, 2 and 5 will be financed by official development assistance (ODA) capital.

Particularly, Metro Line 1 will receive ODA from Japan . Metro Line 2 will be funded with US$300 million by Germany plus additional capital by several banks such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Spain will provide Metro Line 5 with 500 million euros. Earlier, the Spanish government allowed six Spanish firms to join the Metro Line 5 project, but they later pulled out of the project due to financial constraints.

Therefore, the metro project is now lacking 180 million euros. The city has petitioned the Government to call for investors in this project, said Chairman Quan

Meanwhile, a Thai investor is studying the possibility of developing the Metro Line 4 under BOT format. The municipal authority is still calling for investment in the remaining metro routes.


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