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Posts Tagged ‘projects’

Forest projects facing the axe

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:11 am

Forest projects facing the axe

QĐND – Monday, January 03, 2011, 20:37 (GMT+7)

A large chunk of Vietnam’s largest foreign forest planter’s six projects will face the chop due to lying in sensitive locations.

Lang Son province Department of Planning and Investment director Ly Vinh Quang said that the province would cut off part of Hong Kong-backed InnovGreen’s $50 million, 63,000 hectare forestation project licenced in February, 2008.

“It is because part of the project is in the country’s sensitive areas. Further examination is now underway,” said Quang.

Those “sensitive areas” are considered important to Vietnam’s strategic defense.

InnovGreen’s project would have covered 49 communes in districts of Van Quan, Trang Dinh, Loc Binh, Chi Lang, Cao Loc, Bac Son and Dinh Lap. Of which Trang Dinh, Loc Binh, Cao Loc and Dinh Lap.

Quang Nam province Department of Planning and Investment director Tran Van Tri echoed Quang’s view.

“Any sensitive area of InnovGreen’s project in Quang Nam will also be cut off,” Tri said.

InnovGreen was in July, 2008 licenced for a $40 million project to plant 30,000ha of forests in central Quang Nam’s nine districts, many of which, Tri claimed, were “sensitive to the national security and defense”.

Since July 2005, InnovGreen has been trying to cultivate its six big forest plantation projects worth $284.2 million and covering 349,000ha in Thanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Nghe An, Lang Son, Kon Tum and Quang Nam provinces. However, it has been provided with over 8,600ha due to many reasons, which are mostly related to complicated procedures about giving land to foreign investors.

A reliable source familiar with InnovGreen told VIR that all of these six projects had a great part of their sites located in the country’s sensitive areas. “These projects have been halted for further examination.”

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on March 10, 2010 ordered local governments to freeze giving forest land to foreign investors until the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Planning and Investment (MPI) reviewed the projects. Dung’s iron hand followed public concerns over forest land leased to foreign investors being located in tracts of old-growth forests, in watersheds and in strategically significant border locations.

Last week, InnovGreen said if the land areas given to it by localities were considered to be “sensitive to Vietnam’s security and defense”, it stood ready to return such areas to localities immediately. “But in that case, localities must give us land in other locations with the same size and leasing period, while compensating us for all cost we have already spent opening roads and growing forests,” said InnovGreen Vietnam’s general director Wu Gwo Wei.

Tri of Quang Nam province, however, said that InnovGreen’s requirement could not be met because there would be no more land for the company’s project.

InnovGreen said that provincial authorities would violate their investment commitments if its projects’ areas were withdrawn without compensation, because all the land areas it leased were physically introduced by localities and its land leasing documents had been carefully examined and approved by relevant ministries and agencies under the government’s regulations.

Source: VIR

Source: QDND

Saigontourist seeks Japanese investment for new hotel projects

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

Saigontourist seeks Japanese investment for new hotel projects

QĐND – Sunday, December 12, 2010, 22:2 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s leading tourism company Saigontourist said it is looking for Japanese partners to invest in the development of 12 new hotels and tourism complexes.

General Director Nguyen Huu Tho said the company announced details of the projects to around 70 Japanese companies at a real estate conference in Tokyo late last month.

He said Saigontourist is looking for both capital investment and management cooperation.

“Many investors have made appointments for further discussion and the first meeting will be held in Ho Chi Minh City this month,” Tho said, noting that Japanese investors are, in general, very interested in business opportunities in Vietnam.

He said Saigontourist also plans to buy hotels in Japan as an attempt to expand its operation.

The tourism firm now operates around 100 hotels, resorts and restaurants around the country. It posted revenues of VND8.2 trillion (US$420.6 million) last year and planned to boost the figure to $1 billion in 2015.

The company plans to add 4,000 new rooms to its hotel system in the next five years.

Source: TBKTSG Online/Thanh Nien 


Source: QDND

City calls on Gov’t to halt 20 hydropower projects on Dong Nai River

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm

65 construction projects awarded Gold Cup

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Russia eyes more nuclear power projects in Asia: FM

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Asian nations are keen on striking nuclear power deals with Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday, as world powers race to secure projects in the energy-hungry region.

“Our partners expressed particular interest in nuclear energy, noting Russia’s vast experience in this sphere,” Lavrov said in Hanoi, where President Dmitry Medvedev attended a regional summit.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the ASEAN summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

During Medvedev’s visit to Vietnam, Russia will also sign a multi-billion-euro deal on Sunday to build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant.

An official with Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom told AFP the construction of the two-unit plant is estimated at over 4.0 billion euros (5.5 billion dollars).

Russia is locked in a global race with competitors like the United States, Japan and France to clinch lucrative worldwide contracts as demand for nuclear energy increases.

Vietnam has approved the construction of the country’s first nuclear power stations, and its initial plans call for four reactors with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, at least one of which should be operational from 2020.

Lavrov added that Russia and its ASEAN partners were interested in pursuing joint projects in geothermal energy in the region.

“The prospects are quite good,” he said, adding the potential projects would be the focus of the countries’ action plan through 2015.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary general Surin Pitsuwan told reporters at the 10-member bloc’s summit in Hanoi that leaders agreed on the need for clean energy projects in the region.

“Without energy we could not drive our economy, but at the same time using traditional energy may impact upon our global environment,” he said, adding that member countries are working on “green energy, clean energy, new, alternative energy that would not have any impact on the environment”.

Source: SGGP

US shuns some big public works projects

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

New Jersey’s governor wants to kill a $9 billion-plus train tunnel to New York City because of runaway costs. Six thousand miles away, Hawaii’s outgoing governor is having second thoughts about a proposed $5.5 billion rail line in Honolulu.

In many of the 48 states in between, infrastructure projects are languishing on the drawing board, awaiting the right mix of creative financing, political arm-twisting and timing to move forward. And a struggling economy and a surge of political candidates opposed to big spending could make it a long wait.

Has the nation that built the Hoover Dam, brought electricity to the rural South and engineered the interstate highway system lost its appetite for big public works projects? At a time when other countries are pouring money into steel and concrete, is the U.S. unwilling to think long-term?

“My sense is things have changed,” said Andrew Goetz, a University of Denver professor and an expert on transportation policy. “People now tend to see any project as a waste of money, and that’s just wrong.”

In this Oct. 19, 2010 photo, a large rusty metal wall is seen in North Bergen, N.J., covering construction at the ARC Tunnel. Work on the project has been stopped by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

“I call it the Bridge to Nowhere syndrome,” he added. “High-profile projects get publicized and they become a symbol for any infrastructure project that’s out there, and even the ones that are justified get tarnished by the same charge.”

The so-called Bridge to Nowhere would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to connect one Alaskan town to an island of 50 residents. It figured in the 2008 presidential election when then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was criticized for initially backing the plan, which was eventually scrapped.

The other cautionary tale of the past few years is Boston’s Big Dig, the highway and tunnel project that was originally envisioned at less than $3 billion and wound up costing nearly $15 billion.

The Big Dig has made it far easier for motorists to get to and from Boston’s airport, and it eliminated a noisy and unsightly elevated highway that cast a shadow over some of the city’s neighborhoods. But construction was plagued by years of delays, corruption and shoddy workmanship that resulted in the death of a motorist in a ceiling collapse.

A report this month by the Treasury Department and the Council of Economic Advisers paints a picture of a country dissatisfied with the state of America’s aging infrastructure and in favor of improvements, but not necessarily eager to commit the dollars to fix it.

Standing in New York’s Penn Station on Thursday in front of a sign touting the proposed tunnel, commuter Bill Mischell of Plainsboro, N.J., gave voice to those conclusions.

“You could make the argument that it will make New Jersey a better place to live, but you also have to weigh it impartially against the huge cost,” Mischell said. “The state’s in pretty significant financial trouble, and the money’s got to come from somewhere.”

Infrastructure spending in the U.S. stands at 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product_ half what it was in 1960 — compared with approximately 9 percent in China and 5 percent for Europe, according to the government report.

“During recessions it is common for state and local governments to cut back on capital projects — such as building schools, roads and parks — in order to meet balanced budget requirements,” the report concluded. “However, the need for improved and expanded infrastructure is just as great during a downturn as it is during a boom.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers calculates that the U.S. would need to spend an additional $1.1 trillion over the next five years to restore roads, bridges, dams, levees and other infrastructure to good condition. In its latest report card, the engineering society gave the nation’s public works a “D” grade.

“Somehow we believe if we ignore it, it will go away,” said Blaine Leonard, the society’s president. “And it won’t. We have to stop hitting the snooze button on this problem.”

He said now is a good time to spend money on infrastructure because construction companies in this weak economy are hungry for work and the costs are relatively low as a result.

Major infrastructure projects of the past benefited from strong leadership, notably the interstate highway system pushed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s, he said. Today, though, “there isn’t any high-level leadership about infrastructure,” so there’s no agreement about priorities, Leonard said.

CG/LA Infrastructure LLC, a Washington consulting firm, recently put together a list of the worthiest 100 large infrastructure projects in North America, totaling about $400 billion. Among the suggestions: a next-generation air traffic control system; high-speed rail linking Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago; a pair of highway projects in Texas; and the tunnel that New Jersey’s governor has threatened to scuttle.

To be sure, there are large-scale projects under way, notably in California, where a combination of federal dollars and voter-approved bonds and local tax increases are funding improvements, from highway widening to the $6.2 billion renovation of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland. And this week, Arizona and Nevada hailed the opening of a $240 million bridge that bypasses Hoover Dam.

However, many projects recently completed or in the pipeline secured funding before the economy went into a slide. Some of them might not be approved today.

In New Jersey, construction on a rail tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City — the largest transportation project under way in the U.S. — began in 2009 under then-Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat. It is projected to double train capacity at peak times as well as provide 6,000 construction jobs immediately and up to 40,000 jobs after its completion in 2018. About $6 billion of the cost is being covered by the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced he was pulling the plug because the cost had escalated from $5 billion in 2005 to more than $9 billion by the federal government’s estimate, and as much as $14 billion by Christie’s reckoning.

“I simply cannot put the taxpayers of the state of New Jersey on what would be a never-ending hook,” he said.

Christie later agreed to reconsider. The two-week review period expires Friday.

In Hawaii, Republican Gov. Linda Lingle announced recently that she wouldn’t sign off on a federally subsidized rail line until an updated economic study is conducted. And that may not be completed before she leaves office in less than two months. That means the project’s fate could be in her successor’s hands.

In Seattle, new Mayor Mike McGinn is threatening to hold up construction of a massive highway tunnel to replace the waterfront’s dilapidated, earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct because he fears city taxpayers will be on the hook if costs spiral beyond the $4.2 billion price tag.

“The issue of the overall cost of the tunnel has been a concern to voters since before the recession, and I think the severity of the state’s and the city’s fiscal situation is causing people to take a harder look at … an expensive and risky project,” McGinn said.

In Wisconsin, Ohio and California, Republican candidates for governor have vowed they won’t endorse high-speed rail projects, despite the promise of billions of dollars from Washington.

Other countries are spending heavily on job-creating infrastructure. Projects include Algeria’s $11.2 billion east-west highway; a planned $10 billion bridge linking the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra; and China’s $60 billion Yangtze River diversion project.

Australia plans to spend $38 billion to relieve traffic congestion in Melbourne, while Britain is preparing for a $45 billion high-speed rail link between London and the West Midlands. Japan is building a $70 billion highway from Tokyo to Osaka, scheduled for completion in 2020.

In the U.S., it often takes a catastrophe to give infrastructure improvements more urgency. The Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 that killed 13 people prompted reviews of aging bridges around the country.

“Unfortunately, our attention span is short,” Leonard said. “You would think the Minneapolis bridge collapse would have sent repercussions throughout the system that would have resulted in a transportation funding bill, but it didn’t. Even bridge funding bills didn’t get through Congress.”

Consultant Norman Anderson of CG/LA Infrastructure said the federal government’s recent emphasis on smaller, “shovel-ready” projects to stimulate the economy is misguided and shows a lack of vision.

“You don’t do ‘shovel-ready.’ That is idiotic and extremely uninformed,” he said in an e-mail. “You do projects now because they produce value for an economy 20 to 30 years into the future, as well as producing immediate jobs.”

Source: SGGP

Vietnam now has nearly 12,000 FDI projects

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Vietnam now has nearly 12,000 FDI projects

QĐND – Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 21:12 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has 11,807 foreign invested projects (FDI) with a total registered capital of US$188.4 billion, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.  

HCM City attracts most of the FDI projects with a total capitalization of US$28.7 billion, followed by Ba Ria-Vung Tau with nearly US$26 billion. Hanoi makes up 25.49 percent of the total projects and 17.6 percent of registered capital.

Four south-eastern provinces host 60.14 percent of total projects valued at 51.66 percent of registered capital, while the north-western region makes up barely 0.34 percent of the total projects and 0.11 percent of registered capital.

Currently, 91 countries and territories have invested in Vietnam. The Republic of Korea takes the lead with 2,570 projects capitalised at US$23 billion.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Projects expected to benefit disadvantaged people

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

The World Bank and the State Bank of Vietnam July 15 signed a credit of USD$ 100 million to create the Project Preparation Technical Assistance Facility Project, which will aim to speed up and improve the preparation phase public projects and curtail implementation delays that have become commonplace. 

Public investments in Vietnam generally, and infrastructure investments in particular, often face difficulties in keeping to schedule and are frequently delayed.

By the end of 2008, US$11 billion in funds from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) not yet been disbursed, and this figure could well increase unless project start-up delays are substantially reduced. This delay in investment implementation deprives the Vietnamese economy of substantial economic and social benefits.

As development projects will continue to be in high demand in all economic and social sectors, this new program has been designed to improve quality at entry, shorten preparation periods and increase the capacity of government agencies and the national consulting industry to produce project preparation documents of good quality within an acceptable timeframe.

“By improving the speed and quality of preparation work, the project is expected to accelerate project start-up and disbursements, thus enabling beneficiaries to quickly realize the economic and social benefits from investments supported through the project,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

The project is expected to be implemented from October 2010 to October 2015.  Funding for the project comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s source of funding for low-income countries.

Source: SGGP

Japan boosts support for Vietnamese projects

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

The Japanese government has agreed to provide Vietnam with nearly US$5 million in non-refundable aid for two projects, one in education and the other in fire-fighting.

Mr. Mitsuo Sakaba (R) and Nguyen Duc Nghi, Vice Director of Hanoi Municipal Public Security Department.(L)  sign an agreement under which Japan will fund fire trucks to Vietnam (Photo: Courtesy of Japanese Embassy)

Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan and Japanese Ambassador Mitsuo Sakaba July 12 signed an agreement on a Japanese human resource development project for Vietnam in 2010

Under the agreement, the Japanese Government will provide grants worth JPY 362 million (over US$4 million) for Vietnam to train 28 graduate students in Japan in 2010.

The scholarships are designated for those majoring in law, public policy, business administration, economics, agriculture, information technology, environmental policy and international relations.

The next day, involved parties from both sides signed a contract obliging Japan to provide fire trucks to Vietnam.

The new engines will be used in Da Nang and Hue, and other provinces near Hanoi where urbanization rates are high, including Hai Duong, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Nam Dinh and Thai Binh.

Ambassador Sakaba said at the meetings that he hopes the friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and Vietnam will be further deepened through these projects.

Source: SGGP

Moratorium issued on steel projects due to oversupply

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 8:57 am

Moratorium issued on steel projects due to oversupply

QĐND – Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 20:56 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has asked cities and provinces to stop granting new investment licenses to steel projects and revise existing contracts as domestic steel supplies have outstripped demand.

Statistics from the ministry showed that as many as 30 provinces in the country have steel projects. Of the total, southern Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

province takes the lead in terms of the number of steel projects with 15, followed by Hai Phong, Phu Tho and Ha Tinh with nine and four

respectively. FDI projects account for the majority of steel production in Ha Tinh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Quang Ngai.

The ministry said Vietnam now had 65 steel projects with a yearly design capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes. In addition, additional

projects managed by the Vietnam Steel Corporation account for a total investment of 20 million USD.

Of the total, there are seven FDI projects and 58 domestic and joint ventures.

Last year, the industry met 54 percent of the country’s total demand of steel ingot, 40 percent of cold steel and 100 percent of building steel.

It is estimated that by 2015 the country will need 15 million tonnes of steel and 20 million tonnes by 2020. This could lead to redundancy as

total yearly capacity of the projects will be over 35 million tonnes, between 1.5-1.8 times higher than demand.

MoIT’s deputy minister Le Duong Quang said only 23 steel projects had been approved by the Prime Minister in 2007.

Quang said localities had granted licenses for 32 projects but they had not been approved by the PM, adding that this was not in conformity with Construction and Investment Law regulations.

He added that provinces which have not ensured necessary conditions of scale, technology, input materials, infrastructure and environmental audits could make the projects untenable in the long-run and have a negative effect on the environment.

To resolve the issue, the ministry asked the provinces to check the investment situation and production of the industry as planned. It would propose that the PM consider and grant licenses to projects which were eligible for implementation.

It also instructed localities to withdraw investment licenses from projects which are not making progress and have no legitimate reasons for their slow implementation.

The Vietnam Steel Association asked the PM to withdraw licenses of slow projects that would cause waste and affect the capacity of the industry.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND