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Vientiane Seeks Investors To Build Expressway

Source: Vientiane Times

Vientiane authorities are seeking entrepreneurs to invest in and build the planned 15-km expressway linking the city to its north-eastern outskirts in Xaythany district.

The authorities have issued an announcement inviting interested local and foreign investors to competitively bid for the development of the project.

The 54-metre-wide road will be built parallel to Kaysone Phomvihane Road running from the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) in Xaysettha district to Dongmakkhai village in Xaythany district.

The expressway will comprise four lanes each 3.5 metres wide, two 3-metre sidewalks, a bicycle lane and median strip, according to the announcement, which is being publicised via local media outlets.
Some land along both sides of the road will be reserved for further expansion.

The announcement came after the government gave the green light to Vientiane authorities to build the expressway to ease traffic congestion in the capital.

Deputy Director of the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Soulivanh Phommahaxay, said interested investors are invited to prepare a detailed project design as part of the bidding process.

“Those offering the best option will be considered,” he said.

A project feasibility study, which estimated the cost at somewhere between US$150 million and US$200 million, proved that the expressway would be viable.

Bidding documents will be available on January 2 with the closing date for bids slated for January 16.
Vientiane authorities will require the selected developer to complete the project before February 2021 to mark the 11th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, according to the criteria spelt out in the announcement.

Investors must show that they are financially and technically capable of carrying out the project.

The expressway will be built to meet the national and Class I Asean road standards.
The road will be designed to carry vehicles traveling at speeds of 80-100 km per hour.

The project will be carried out in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, which is a form of project financing wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a facility as stated in the concession contract.

The 50-year concession agreement can be extended in line with the Lao Investment Promotion Law.
According to the announcement, the investors must be financially able to compensate local people for the loss of their property, or any other party affected by the project, in line with Prime Ministerial Decree No. 84.

Under the decree, compensation must ensure that affected villagers are provided with better or similar living conditions compared to their circumstances prior to relocation.

Mr Soulivanh said the expressway would be built alongside the main channel of the That Luang Marsh so as to avoid residential buildings.