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Companies keen to develop Vientiane-Pakxe expressway project

Nineteen domestic and foreign companies have expressed their interest in developing the planned Vientiane-Pakxe expressway, a senior government official has said.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment recently called for local and foreign investors to apply for participation in the mega project by submitting an official expression of interest letter along with relevant documentation. The submission deadline closed on February 14.

The project's coordinating official from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport told Vientiane Times yesterday the government has issued a notice asking relevant ministries to assign representatives to a sub-committee which will be in charge of scrutinising the qualified applicants.

The issue of whether only one or multiple investors would undertake the project and other relevant details would be discussed later by the subcommittee after it is formed, the official, who wished to be unnamed, said.

Successful candidates will be selected based on their financial capability to carry out the project, which will be financed and developed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.

The expressway will link the country's capital of Vientiane to Pakxe - capital of Champassak province over an estimated distance of 585 km, significantly shorter than the over 700 km trip between the two cities using the current Road 13 South.

The new transport route will be 23 metres wide overall comprising four lanes, each 3.5 metres wide, meet Asean expressway standard Class 1 and be able to accommodate loads of not less than 11 tonnes per axle.

Estimated cost of the project has not been calculated as the survey and feasibility study have yet to be conducted.

The selected firms will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lao government to carry out a survey, feasibility study, design and construction of the project.

The expressway, which is set to include bridges and tunnels, will pass through a new corridor and avoid dense residential communities to minimise impacts.

The new highway is necessary to accommodate the growing transport needs between the central and southern regions, which now rely solely on Road 13 South.

BOT is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate the facility described in the concession contract. This enables the project proponent to recover its investment, operating and maintenance costs.

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
March 02,

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