LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - Chinese companies on Friday marked the completion of the excavation and construction of a tunnel through Phoupha-ngarm Mountain - the longest on the Laos-China railway.
The 9,384 meter-long tunnel was built by Sinohydro 3 and Sinohydro 14 between Luang Prabang and Vientiane provinces and has been hailed as a major milestone in the project. Sinohydro Corporation Limited and Power China are international business leaders in the management of international hydropower development, construction, and various fields of infrastructure.
Excavation of the Phoupha-ngarm tunnel began on March 15, 2017, and was completed seven months ahead of schedule. High-quality technologies have been applied in the construction of the tunnel, Chairman of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd., Mr Ju Guojiang told Lao media.
He added that early completion of the tunnel reflected the hard work of the company’s staff which had made it possible, and it was a great milestone in the construction of the railway. The Laos-China railway is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and will boost the Lao government’s efforts to turn the nation from landlocked into a land-linked country.
The 414-km railway will carry trains that can travel at up to 160km/hour and link Vientiane to the Chinese border. Lao and Chinese authorities have agreed to accelerate work to finish the railway in time to mark the 46th anniversary of the founding of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on December 2, 2021.
About 95 percent of the total land required for the railway has been handed over to Chinese contractors. The railway slices through the provinces of Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang and Vientiane as well as the capital and has 75 tunnels with a combined length of 197.83km.
The track will form part of the planned regional rail route linking China’s Yunnan province to Singapore via Laos, Thailand and Malaysia. As of November this year, 80 percent of the structural engineering work was complete, according to project officials.