Construction of Laos-China railway to Begin Early Next Year
Lao authorities have confirmed that the construction of the Laos-China railway project will be officially launched in February 2017 and completed by 2021.
The first phase of the project will stretch over 52 kilometers from the Lao-Chinese border to Namor district in Oudomxay Province, out of which 16.9 km will pass through Luang Namtha Province.
Two stations will be built in Luang Namtha Province with the first one to be located in Boten as a small immigration station and another one in Nateuy as a main cargo loading station. The first phase of the construction will be built by China’s Railway Engineering Group No 5, a contracted company.
A coordinator for the Laos-China railway construction project in Luang Namtha Province, Mr. Chanthachone Keonakhone said last week that the demarcation of the railway line in three-affected villages of Boten, Nateuy and Tinsane is 70% completed and the removal of unexploded ordance (UXO) in Nateuy will be commenced soon.
These three villages were previously affected by the construction of the Boten Golden Land Special Economic Zone. As a result they will be relocated one more time to pave the way for the Laos-China Railway Construction Project.
“Once fully built, the train will be able to transport about 3,000 tonnes per trip. As a result, it will help reduce transport costs for goods and bring a lot of benefits to the country,” said Mr. Chanthachone.
The railway project is 70% owned by China and 30% owned by Laos.
The project is expected to ensure that the Lao PDR has strong economic infrastructure that meets its vision of transforming from a landlocked to a land-linked country and help Laos achieve the external cooperation and connectivity strategies that it has envisioned with other ASEAN member countries and China.