15 Nov Laos-China Railway project achieves significant milestone – 90% complete
The first station at Nateuy, along the Laos-China Railway was completed in September 2020, marking a significant occasion for the railway line. The station, located some 20 kilometers from the Boten Border Crossing, will be a key passenger and freight distribution center in Laos. China Railway Construction Engineering Group (CRCEG) has managed to finish the work ahead of schedule, despite setbacks including monsoon weather and the Covid-19 pandemic. Another Chinese company commenced work on building the Vientiane station earlier in the year in July.
The Laos-China Railway project being constructed under Chinese management using Chinese technological standard, will run a total distance of over 400 kms from the Boten border gate, connecting Northern Laos to China, down to Vientiane Capital and is scheduled to open to traffic in December 2021.
In the north this line will connect to the Chinese rail system in Mohan and in the south it meets the existing Thai rail system in Thanaleng. A high-speed extension on the Thai side to Bangkok is already under construction. This is all part of the 3,000 km rail line link from China’s Kunming all the way down to Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia as part of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, for increased cooperation between China and ASEAN.
The cost of the Laos-China Railway project is expected to be US$ 6 billion and is being funded by a soft loan of US$ 3.6 billion from EXIM Bank of China and balance US$ 2.4 billion from a JV company owned 70% by Chinese side and 30% by Vietnam. The Vietnamese share of US$ 0.72 billion is being funded 1/3rd out of the national budget and balance 2/3rd out of loan from EXIM Bank of China.