Bidding result of high-rise building project in HCMC cancelled

5 Aug
The controversial “golden land plot” in downtown HCMC will be offered to bidders again in a new competition after the Prime Minister in his instruction to the city demanded that the local government find agreeable solutions to prolonged complaints by a losing bidder.

HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Thanh Tai on Monday asked the Department of Planning and Investment and other related agencies to seriously learn from their mistakes to ensure that the new bidding round for the land plot of 13,000 square meters would be properly handled. There is no mention of the cancellation, but an expert of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment said the bidding results last year would be effectively cancelled.

The triangular area surrounded by Tran Hung Dao, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Pham Ngu Lao streets in District 1 was the cause of heated debate and a war of word last year when Khanh Gia Consortium as the runner-up in the bidding round challenged authorities on the legitimacy of the winner, Thai Son Consortium.

In his instruction issued on Monday, Tai demanded the Department of Planning and Investment, the city-run bidding committee, and related departments suggest solutions for reorganizing the bidding as well as solving the complaints related to this project.

“The solutions must conform to prevailing bidding regulations,… and avoid the lengthy complaints,” vice chairman Tai said in his document.

Talking with the Daily on Monday, a member of the bidding committee said that the cancellation was obvious since Thai Son Consortium as the winner in April this year decided to withdraw from the project.

“Under the bidding regulations for this project, the bidding result that was approved in April last year by the city’s government will be cancelled, and the city will publicly reorganize the tender for selecting a new investor for this project,” said the source who asked not to be named.

Thai Son Consortium had been approved as the winner of the bidding in April 2008 to develop high-rise buildings on the prime site with total investment capital of some VND4.9 trillion after the consortium had pledged to support the city with some VND1.9 trillion.

Thai Son Consortium grouped eight investors including Thai Son Investment and Construction JS Company, Chi Thanh Investment JS Company, Anh Duong Financial Investment JS Company, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), and BIDV Land Company. There was also the involvement of Hanwha Construction JS Company, Hanshin Construction Company Ltd. and Hanwha Galleria Company Ltd. in the consortium.

After the bidding results were announced, Khanh Gia Consortium loudly voiced its opposition, challenging the city authorities for what they called irregularities during the bidding process. Khanh Gia was defeated in the final round although it offered a higher price of some VND6.7 trillion of investment, but a smaller financial support of only some VND360 billion to the city budget.

According to the conclusion of the Government’s Inspectors, irregularities were found in the bidding organization, including lack of up-front approval from the Central Government.

HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Thanh Tai, therefore, in his instruction on Monday asked relevant departments to review mistakes in the bidding process, although he said certain mistakes were unavoidable for a trial bidding like this.

The Department of Planning and Investment said the city this year would invite bids to select potential investors for six other projects before inviting tenders for the triangular 13,000-square-meter “golden land” project as the city government needed to consult the People’s Council on the cancellation.

According to the bidding committee, the city will not apply the old bidding regulations that applied in the previous bidding. The new bidding regulations will base mostly on Circular 03/2009 issued on April 16, 2009 by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Source: The Saigon Times

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