Work on the runways, hangars, and terminals are 65 percent complete, and the project will become operational on schedule, the investor representative said.
The VND16.2 trillion (US$810 million) airport, located in Duong To Commune, Phu Quoc District, will replace the existing Phu Quoc Airport 10 km away.
Unlike the rapid working pace at the airport, however, no sign of construction can be seen on the sites of the infrastructure projects around it.
These days, no workers are spotted on the construction site to build the main 20-km route connecting the north and south ends of the district from Duong Dong Town to Suoi Lon Bridge, and the bulldozers are left unused.
“The constructors worked on the site for only a few months, and have since disappeared,” said Nguyen Van Sang, a local.
Work on the Cua Can – Ganh Dau road had also ceased before much had been done.
Nguyen Trung Thanh, from the construction team No 2 of TRACO -- and in charge of the Duong Dong – An Thoi road, said they could not begin working on the site since the investor had failed to complete the site clearance tasks.
“We have mobilized 100 cranes and bulldozers from the mainland to Phu Quoc island to prepare for construction, and it is extremely wasteful as work has been suspended,” said Thanh.
For his part, Dao Huy Hiep, head of planning and finance of the provincial Department of Transport, admitted to Tuoi Tre that the construction of all transport projects funded by government bond have been suspended.
“The capital shortage, and investors’ debts to constructors are the main causes,” said Hiep.
Yet to be electrified
The unsynchronized electrification on Phu Quoc Island, compared to the airport’s completion is also a nuisance to investors.
At present, the island is yet to be able to use the national power system, so generating electricity is left to diesel-fueled generators, which produce power at exorbitant prices.
Vo Van Thanh, deputy director of Phu Quoc Tourism JSC, lamented that the price of power on Phu Quoc is as high as VND6,525 a kWh.
“While our hotel only has 43 rooms, the power bill is already as high as VND150 million a month,” he said.
“The high power price has made accommodation fees in Phu Quoc much higher than in other tourism places.”
Meanwhile, the installation of a 110kV underground electricity cable from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc has yet to begin.
“The project will be completed no sooner than 2013,” said Truong Tan Luc, director of Kien Giang Electricity.
Travel agencies hesitant to invest
According to the Prime Minister’s directive No 633, Phu Quoc Island is intended to be developed into a world-class tourism center.
However, seven years after the plan was implemented, the island has yet to be able to make full use of its potential for development .
According to the management board for the investment and development of Phu Quoc Island, there are currently only 9 tourism projects operating on the island, while 14 others are under construction.
Last year Phu Quoc welcomed around 351,000 tourists, 78,000 of which were international holidaymakers.
An investor who planned to build a restaurant-hotel complex on Phu Quoc said he has yet to have the project begun, due to the undeveloped infrastructure on the island.
“The island’s infrastructure still cannot meet our demands,” he said.
For his part, Le Van Thi, chairman of Kien Giang People’s Committee, said the government will continue to allocate government bonds to fund the projects on Phu Quoc this year.
“We will prioritize this capital source to clear debts with contractors, and complete the roads connecting local traffic with Phu Quoc Airport,” he said.