Investor: Preparation for Savan-Lao Bao railway construction ‘well progressed’

Date: 27, Apr, 2017   Time: 4:00 pm

The Right-of-Way Railway corridor of the planned 220 km railway project linking central Savannakhet province with Vietnamese border was successfully marked and all procedures are being finalised to seek the Lao government’s approval.

Once the government approves the procedures and all related documents, construction of the Savannakhet-Laobao Railway Project, which was estimated to cost somewhere between US$5.5-6 billion could begin, Giant Rail Company Limited (GRCL-Lao PDR), the Project Director said, while on teleconference from Hong Kong with the Vice President, Dato’ Dr Tock Min Kin and Dato’ Sri Dr Aixinjueluo Yuhao, Chairman of the Asia Economic & Trade Cooperation Council (AETCC), the project Supervision Management on Contractors’ Affairs.

“We are ready [to begin construction]. It can commence immediately after the Lao government’s approval,” baring any last-minute adjustments, the Project Director, Noor Mohamed Bin Ahmad told the Vientiane Times on Thursday.

The installation of the corridor posts along the proposed railway right-of-way, which includes 11 designated development zones on 4,100 hectares, was completed since December 2016 with a 90-metre-wide corridor were earmarked.

One railway station will be built on each development zone meaning that a total of 11 stations including three main stations are planned to be built for the dual track standard gauge electrification railway project.

The project developer in collaboration with Savannakhet Public Works and Transport Department are finalising all procedures and related works in accordance to the recommendations made at the alignment meeting held last year.

Upon completion of all the required procedures, a report will be sent to the Ministry concerned and the Lao government for consideration and final approval. After which, the project construction will be able to commence, GRCL said.

Mr Noor Mohamed added that all major works of the preparation stage were all done but only minor works remain to be finished before construction could begin.

The project’s progress was made possible thanks to proper coordination and close supervision extended by all stakeholders including the Lao government and local authorities.

The project will link Myanmar-Thailand-Laos (Savannakhet) – Vietnam (Lao Bao) border across the six districts of the Savannakhet Province (East West Economic Corridor – EWEC). Once it is completed and operational, the project will give a significant boost to the Lao government’s efforts to turn Laos from a landlocked country into a land link within the region.

On September 6, 2016, Dato’ Dr Tock Min Kin and Dato’ Sri Aixinjueluo Yuhao jointly briefed Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Hj Tun Abdul Razak, on the project at a meeting with the Malaysian business community before the start of the 28th and 29th Asean Summits in Vientiane last year.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia commented on GRCL’s Savannakhet to Lao Bao Railway Project and was very impressed with the progress of this and other projects undertaken by Malaysian companies and businessmen in Laos, as reported in the Malaysia TV1 broadcast and various news media.

The master agreement to carry out this project was signed in 2012 between Giant Consolidated Limited and the Lao Government. The Lao- based company, Giant Rail Company Limited (GRCL), was formed with the Lao Government to be responsible to undertake this task. The Lao Government holds a 10 percent stake in the company.

 

Source: Vientiane Times Issue 61 (14 March 2017)