Song Da water pipeline project: worry about Chinese contractors
Song Da water pipeline project: worry about Chinese contractors
  • 승인 2016.04.14 22:30
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HANOI, April 14 (Engineering Daily) -- Song Da water plant project-phase 1, with capacity of 300,000 m3 per day and transmission pipes from Hoa Binh to the Ring Road 3 have been assigned by MOC to Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Joint Stock Corporation (Vinaconex) for investment and construction to supply clean water for about 70,000 households at the West and North West of Hanoi. The project has been operated and exploited since 2008. The Hanoi city has been buying the water from Vinaconex Water Supply Company (VIWASUPCO) at the end point of transmission pipe, Ring Road 3.

However, Song Da pipeline was broken 17 times since 2008, after nearly 8 years constructing, causing difficulties in living of dozen of thousands households at Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Hoang  Mai districts. To excuse for those continuous bursts, Vinaconex tried to blame on the weak ground. Nevertheless, State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection concluded that the pipeline bursts due to the pipe quality was not uniform. The Authority also confirmed the general design contractor lacked experience in selecting standards applying for water pipeline design utilized glass fiber composite material. The Construction Supervision Contractor was also loose, irresponsible creating many defects during construction.

Thus, to overcome these difficulties in supplying water to the citizens, Chairman of Hanoi’s People Committee approved for Vinaconex to quickly construct the transmission pipeline No.2 from Highway 21 to Ring Road 3, with a total investment of nearly VND 5,000 billion. Vinaconex expected the plan to start in June 2015, however, Song Da transmission pipeline No.2 to Hanoi was just officially started in 7 October 2015. In March 2016, VIWASUPCO selected Xinxing Ductile Iron Pipes Co., Ltd (China) as a winning bidder, approximate 11.8% lower than the approved bidding package. This is very important package applying the ductile iron water pipe systems, having big impact to the quality and schedule of the project.

But after the Chinese bidder winning was announced, there was a lot of anxiety from residents and professionals. They were anxious after Hanoi had been giving an important project, involving tens of thousands of city residents’ lives to Chinese firm. Why? Because we have had many bitter lessons learnt from working with Chinese contractors. In particular, Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project is as an evidence of the carelessness, unreliableness and public discontent rise. The project has been repeatedly delayed, extending a great many times, but the VND billion project still dry to the sun from year to year. In addition, the project has caused much annoyance to the citizens. Every day, the Hanoi people have to "huddle" under scaffolding systems and suffer from traffic jams, dust and even life-threatening. Hanoi's urban has been destroyed by the sleazy dirty works. They feel anguish for their tax and sweat wasted for this trillion capital project.

According to the bidding rules in 2013, Vietnam still takes the priority for the low price bidder, not yet paid attention to the CO/CQ of equipment. Therefore, many Chinese contractors win several new investment projects. Commenting on the Chinese contractor, Mr. Ton, General Director of VIWASUPCO said: "The Xinxing is a reputable company in the world having 20 year experience in the production of large size tubes, good financial capacity and has been listed on the stock market". But, who can guarantee the safety of water sources in 5 years or 10 years? Pipe samples were evaluated merely symbolic, whether it can ensure the quality of dozens of kilometers long pipeline. It can be clearly seen by the experts as well as the local residents, the construction works carried out by Chinese contractors are often unsafe and mostly behind schedule. They now cannot trust anyone anymore, just rely on the strict supervision to complete the project on schedule and quality assurance.

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