Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) has signed an agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC) and Citibank Japan to secure a $270m loan for the Hanoi – Hai Phong Expressway Project in the country.

Under the agreement, SMBC and Citibank Japan will provide the loan to fund packages number three and eight of the project. The loan will be extended at preferential interest rates for 15 years with a 4.5 year grace period.

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) will provide insurance for the loan contract.

Vietnam is carrying out the 105.5km long and 33m wide Hanoi – Hai Phong highway project, linking Hanoi’s Gia Lam district to Dinh Vu dam in Hai Phong, and after completion it will be the first intercity highway in Vietnam of an international standard.

It will have six main carriage lanes, two emergency lanes, ten interchanges, closed toll collection systems and frontage roads on each side.

Hanoi – Hai Phong Expressway will pass through four cities and the provinces of Ha Noi, Hung Yen, Hai Duong and Hai Phong, connecting seaports to the key northern economic zone of Vietnam and highways from southern China.

Upon completion it is expected to give a boost to Vietnam’s Northern Delta economy by raising traffic capacity along the Hanoi – Hai Phong route, as well as alleviating traffic congestion on the National Highway number five.

The project is being implemented in ten packages under a BOT (built-operation-transfer) basis since 2008, and after completion the highway will allow vehicles to run at 120km an hour.