Vietnam's transport ministry sees the obstacles encountered by the Chinese contractor but the payment is unjustifiable.
The Chinese contractor has withdrawn its request for an upfront payment of US$50 million for putting the final touches for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project, local media quoted Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong as saying at a recent press meeting.
Following meetings between Chinese contractor China Railway 6 Bureau Group and the Vietnamese transport ministry, the deputy minister explained that the two sides have reached an understanding on the issue.
|A train on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway in Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran|
The ministry sees the obstacles encountered by the Chinese contractor but the payment of the sum is unjustifiable. The Vietnamese side only makes payments based on the regulations on the engineering procurement and construction contract and in line with Vietnam’s laws, Dong said.
Besides, the transport ministry has requested the relevant agencies to expedite the project so that it can be put into operation in 2020, as requested by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Deputy Minister Dong confirmed that 28 Chinese experts have arrived in Vietnam after the cross border travel restrictions were eased. Other more than 100 Chinese personnel are undergoing procedures to return to Vietnam.
The Chinese experts are expected to enter Vietnam by train through the northern province of Lao Cai. Upon arrival, they must make health declarations, undergo health checkups and be disinfected before moving to Hanoi to be quarantined for 14 days.
Aside from them, three French consultants have not been able to arrive in Vietnam due to the travel restrictions. The Vietnamese Ministry of Transport is working with the Vietnamese embassy in France to facilitate their return.
According to the transport official, the French experts play a crucial role in the project, and the trial operation of Cat Linh - Ha Dong urban railway depends on the French team’s evaluation. Hanoitimes
While the completion date of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi is not yet known and the inspection dossiers have not been completed,
Around 150 staff from a Chinese general contractor will enter Vietnam through a border gate in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai to continue a metro project in Hanoi.