Wednesday, July 27, 2011

China to pay most of 257km Cambodia-Viet Nam rail link

HA NOI — A feasibility study on the construction of a 257-km railway linking Cambodia and Viet Nam shows it will cost at least US$686 million, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
The railway will be part of an intra-Asian railway that runs from Singapore to China via Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.
Under a scheme announced in 2008 to develop an intra-Asian railway, China has offered to contribute $500 million to build the Cambodia-Viet Nam stretch of the railway.
The overall cost estimate was announced on Wednesday by the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute from the Chinese Railway Ministry which began the study in July, 2009. The study results will be submitted to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for his approval.
The 275-km railway will start in Kampong Speu Province's Oudong District, pass by Kratie Province's Snuol District and end at Viet Nam's Loc Ninh District in the southern border province of Binh Phuoc.
The $686 million cost does not include resettlement compensation to residents who have to leave their homes to make way for the line.
Experts said the railway could bring huge economic benefits to Cambodia, especially in agriculture and mineral exploitation.
At present, Cambodia is revamping the country's existing rail links, including the 254-km southern line from the capital to Sihanoukville, and the north line 388 from Phnom Penh to the border with Thailand thanks to an Asian Development Bank loan worth $73 million. — VNS
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