Oct 15, 2012

Vietnam - $4.3bn New City to dig itself out of a hole stuck

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New City Vietnam, backer of Vietnam’s largest tourism project, is facing a new site clearance headache after local residents flocked to its project site to illegally exploit sand and raise shellfish.

Phu Yen People’s Committee, in a document released two weeks ago, reported that many residents in central Phu Yen province’s Tuy An district were illegally exploiting sand in Bai Xep area and rearing shellfish in Hon Chua island on property for the $4.3 billion high-grade tourism complex.
The violations have turned the project, which has been delayed for four years, on its ear, according to the provincial committee. Ngo Anh Tuyet, deputy director of New City Vietnam, confirmed with VIR that the transgressions added a big headache to site clearance woes the developer had faced since 2008. “Residents have illegally transgressed our site to exploit sand and rear shellfish for a long time. These transgressions are growing,” she said.

In the document, Phu Yen People’s Committee requested Tuy An district’s people’s committee and other authorities to “inspect” and “deal with” the violations to protect the developer. New City Vietnam, which was registered under Brunei nationality, obtained an investment certificate for the Phu Yen High Grade Tourism Complex project in 2008. This is the largest tourism project in Vietnam in terms of registered investment capital. The second largest is the $4.2 billion Ho Tram Strip developed by Asian Coast Development Limited in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The 565 hectare project has plans for three, four-star hotels with 900 rooms and four, five-star hotels with 2,250 rooms. In addition, the investor will build other facilities like villas, residential areas, a diving zone, sports centre, water park, commercial areas, office buildings, a golf course, electronic gambling venues and a health care centre.

Early planning envisioned that New City would be operational in 2013 after five years of construction. But construction has yet to start because of site clearance woes.

According to Phu Yen People’s Committee, the developer was working closely with the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment for clearing the site. The provincial committee expected New City and provincial authorities to complete site clearance compensation within this year.

Ngoc Linh | vir.com.vn 

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