Five contractors from China, South Korea, and Vietnam have been ordered by a court to pay VND 460 billion (US$18.7 million) in compensation for delivering a poor quality Vietnam expressway. The payment will go to the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) under the Transport Ministry, in relation to the Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway project in central Vietnam.
In the aftermath of a 12-day trial, the Hanoi People’s Court has ruled that two Chinese contractors, Shandong Province Traffic Works Corporation and Jiangsu Province Construction Corporation, must pay VND 129 billion and VND 85 billion, respectively. Similarly, the two Korean contractors, Lotte E&C and Posco E&C, are required to pay VND 127 billion and VND 71 billion, respectively. Additionally, the Vietnamese contractor CC1 has been ordered to pay VND 47.5 billion. These payments are part of the compensation for delivering a substandard expressway in Vietnam.
In addition to the compensation orders, the court sentenced 22 individuals, including 11 former leaders of VEC, to prison terms of up to 6 years for their involvement in construction violations related to the expressway project. Notably, Tran Van Tam, the former general director of VEC, was sentenced to five and a half years for his role in construction violations and negligence.
Mai Tuan Anh, a former general director of VEC, has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for irresponsibility that led to serious consequences in relation to the expressway project.
The Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway, a significant infrastructure project, commenced in 2013 and was finalized in 2018 at a total cost of VND 34.5 trillion ($1.4 billion). Funding for the project was sourced from loans provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank, and counterpart funds from the government.
Concerns regarding the construction quality of the Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway were initially raised in 2018 when the road developed large cracks and potholes, measuring hundreds of centimeters in size and 5-10 cm deep, just a month after its opening due to heavy rainfall.
Trials: Poor Quality Vietnam Expressway
The recent trial, which concluded on Friday, marked the second legal proceeding related to the substandard quality of the Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway. This trial addressed violations in the expressway’s second phase, spanning over 72 km, resulting in damages estimated at VND 460 billion.
An earlier trial took place in December 2021, focusing on violations in the first phase of the project covering 65 km, which incurred damages amounting to VND 811 billion. During this trial, two senior officials at VEC were sentenced to six and seven years in prison for construction violations, while 34 others received sentences ranging from two years of suspended sentences to eight and a half years in jail.