Japanese contractor Sumitomo and Vietnam-based construction firm Cienco6 have won a $2.25bn contract to build the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro system in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.
Under the project, the companies will build a 17.2km elevated section, including 2.6km underground with a planned 19.7km train line and a 21ha rail yard.
The Japanese government will finance the construction of the metro line, which is expected to start in September 2012, while a Nippon Koei-led group of construction consulting firms will provide project planning.
The 11-terminal metro line will run via District 1, Binh Thanh District, District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District in HCMC, before reaching Di An Town in Binh Duong Province.
Designed to ease traffic in the Vietnamese city, the new line is set to be completed in 2017 and put into operation the following year.
The rail service, which will connect the centre of Ho Chi Minh City with its north-eastern district, is expected to carry between 200,000 and 300,000 commuters daily.
HCMC deputy chairman Nguyen Huu Tin said that an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed for the second bid package, valued at JPY45bn ($560.6m).
Under the project, the first bid package is for building underground works, while the third is for equipment supply, which will be developed under other contracts that are set to be signed in the near future.
The new metro line is also expected to help meet the increasing demand for travel, as well as reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions.