23:38 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 12/12/2017

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Geleximco calls for Chinese investor in Long Thanh airport

Released at: 07:34, 27/08/2017

Geleximco calls for Chinese investor in Long Thanh airport

Archirectural drawing of Long Thanh airport project. Source: news.zing.vn

Vietnamese firm seeks permission to find investor and conduct the project under the PPP model.

by Quang Huy

The Hanoi Export-Import Company (Geleximco) has sought permission from authorities to find a Chinese investor to construct the multi-billion-dollar Long Thanh International Airport, which will be the country’s biggest when completed.

Geleximco Chairman and CEO Mr. Vu Van Tien said the company has asked the government and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) about building the airport in the southern province of Dong Nai under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, a cooperative arrangement between the public and private sectors.

Mr. Tien, who is also Chairman of the mid-sized lender An Binh Bank (ABBank), said that Geleximco has established partnerships with a number of large Chinese firms, including the Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group Co., which builds power plants and offers electrical contracting services, as well as major investment funds like Huarong Overseas Investment, China Minsheng Financial, and the Hong Kong-based IDG.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi in late July, Chairman of the Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group Co., Mr. Chen Yilong, said that Kaidi, the China Huarong Asset Management Co., and Geleximco had set up an international investment fund worth $15 billion to carry out joint projects.

Kaidi is also interested in investing in major infrastructure projects in Vietnam, such as airports, seaports, logistics services, and urban expressways. It is also keen on investing in thermo-electric plants in the country and commits to building environmentally-friendly plants to help Vietnam meet its energy demands, Mr. Chen said.

Despite funding concerns for the new airport, which will cost an estimated $16 billion, Mr. Tien said that with its experience and financial capacity, Geleximco is confident it can complete the project at the lowest cost within three to five years.

Long Thanh, which will cover 5,000 ha, is expected to replace Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City as the country’s largest airport and have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo.

Located 40 km from Ho Chi Minh City, the project will be carried out in three phases, the first of which is scheduled for completion in 2025 and have a capacity of 25 million passengers a year.

Mr. Vu Hong Thanh, Chairman of the NA Economics Committee, told a meeting in June that the increasing demand for air travel and constant overloading at Tan Son Nhat have “made the construction of Long Thanh an urgent issue.” Tan Son Nhat currently handles 32 million passengers a year; far beyond its designed capacity of 25 million.

MoT earlier asked the public what they thought the design for Long Thanh Airport should be, and the Top 3 choices were a lotus, bamboo, and a palm tree design.

It selected a lotus-themed design in April, and the choice is now being reviewed by the government.

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