Vietnam lacks builder for new Thanh Long airport in the southern province of Dong Nai
Construction of what’s slated to be Vietnam’s largest airport could fall behind schedule as a VND35 trillion (US$1.48 billion) passenger terminal package has yet to find a contractor.
The Thanh Long Airport project’s main investor, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), announced that bidding on the package had been canceled and a new round of bidding would have to be relaunched all over again.
Work on Long Thanh airport in the southern province of Dong Nai began in early 2021 and its first phase is scheduled for completion in 2025. The site for the passenger terminal has been cleared and is ready for construction to begin at the end of this month as planned.
ACV said it called for bidding on September 24, but no candidates met the requirements necessary to carry out the project.
ACV deputy director Do Tat Binh said local contractors lack experience in special projects like airports. Several foreign contractors were interested in the project when bidding began, but Binh said they considered the 2025 deadline “impractical.”
He said ACV was now reviewing the project’s requirements.
It has not yet been made clear exactly how the cancelation and relaunching of bidding will affect the project’s schedule.
“Only after a successful round of bidding selects a contractor can we calculate how much work needs to be done and how much more time it will take,” said Binh.
He added that ACV would reopen bidding this month or early next year at the latest.
Some residents houses still stand in the area slated for the construction of Long Thanh airport, December 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Some residents’ houses still stand in the area slated for the construction of Long Thanh airport, December 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Construction of the Long Thanh airport has also been undermined by slow site clearance.
ACV said Dong Nai authorities had cleared nearly 98% of the land needed for the construction site by November this year.
But although those 1,770 hectares have been ready for building, clearance of the remaining 2% of landed needed has been stalled by compensation disagreements with residents who will be displaced by the project.
There’s currently no land available for the building of two roads that would connect the site with the outside world and serve to transport construction materials and other provisions.
Costing an estimated total of $16 billion, the Long Thanh airport is designed to serve 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo per year.
According to the project’s official schedule, the airport’s first phase would be put into use in 2025, allowing it to serve 25 million passengers a year.
Once operational, the airport would replace HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat as the largest and busiest airport in Vietnam.