The largest infrastructure investments are gravitating towards the developing economies of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. As these countries’ economies continue to grow, roads, rail, metro, water and waste water projects must be constructed and expanded. Vietnam has been listed among developing countries expected to lead the region in transport infrastructure growth this year.
The South East Asia Bridge and Tunnel Summit, organized on the 17th and 18th of April, 2013 in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam brought together key players in the bridge and tunnel industry to discuss the current state of bridges and tunnels and to exchange ideas regarding the way ahead.
The chairman for Day 1 of the conference, Trinh Nguyen, Partner, Trinh Nguyen and Partners opened the conference by welcoming all the delegates to the summit. She proceeded to speak about the business risks and regulatory hurdles in the bridge and tunnel sector.
Another eminent speaker on Day 1 was Ha Huy Cuong, Senior Program Manager, Vietnam Competitiveness Initiative. His presentation dealt with the PPP (private-public partnership) model and how it could be best implemented in Vietnam with possible means to ensure its success. Picking up from this point, Thomas Jakobsen, Director, Gate to Asia pointed to how and why bridges are good investments. He pointed out that many institutional investors prefer investing in these projects at times and how South East Asia can continue its expansion from these investments.
Discussing bridges and how to ensure both safety and minimizing noise pollution, Dr. Pascal Savioz’s, Head of Asia Pacific, Mageba presentation was well received. His presentation touched on some of the common concerns for bridge construction by the public and how to overcome them. KB Lim, Senior Manager, Professional Segment Philips Lighting, Vietnam spoke on how to make bridges landmarks. His presentation displayed how, through the use of lighting and other visual effects, bridges could be turned into monuments highlighting the city. The most appreciated example by the audience was a bridge in that he had worked on before where Philips was able to have a dragon spitting real fire and water from its mouth from atop the bridge.
Speaking on the Hanoi Metro Line 2, Ho Thanh Son, Vice Director, Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB) and Chitoshi Izumi, Project Director, Oriental Consultant Co. Ltd gave a joint presentation regarding the projects current status and how it would be expanding. During the presentation Mr. Izumi spoke highly of LED lighting as a means of how to make passengers feel more comfortable underground. The ambitious project was well received by both domestic and international delegates. Following this presentation, Wilm Schaub, Technical Manager, Herrenknecht spoke on TBM selection and how tunnel boring machines can be a safe and efficient means of constructing tunnels.
The day concluded with a discussion panel presented by: M Fatawi, Director of Infrastructure, Indonesian Railway Infrastructure Technical Directorate; Bambang Herwanto, President Director, Dardela; Dr. Pascal Savioz’s, Head of Asia Pacific, Mageba; and Jyh Hao Khoo, Deputy General Director, Ultracon. The panel compared the situation of bridge construction in China, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. A clear point was made with a lively discussion with the audience about the necessity of standardization when constructing bridges.
The chairman for day 2 of the conference was Ha Huy Cuong, Senior Program Manager, Vietnam Competitiveness Initiative. He started the second day by expanding on some of the key points of day 1 including investment and standardization and posing questions to the audience.
This was followed by a presentation by Andy Pickles, Director, Golder Associates. His presentation on how to ensure soil conditions when tunneling in an urban environment was highly regarded. Following up on this, Tim Babendererde, Partner, Babenderede Engineers spoke on slurry mixes and how best to bore tunnels using TBM. His presentation was followed by several questions from the audience wanting to best ensure their tunnel’s credentials.
Speaking on a new technology for South East Asia, Hans de Wit, Managing Director, Tunnel Engineering Consultants spoke on immersed tunnels. During his presentation he demonstrated how, through this technology, tunnels could be constructed cheaper and more efficiently. Representatives from TEDI and others found this technology quite interesting as rail and road tunnels could be constructed simultaneously thereby ensuring speed and cost savings.
In the afternoon on the second day, a lively group discussion was held. The discussion was stated by a look at ODA financing looking at its pros and cons. From there, representatives from TEDI and CC1 spoke about their upcoming projects and welcomed ideas from the group as how to best ensure both safety and cost effectiveness for their future tunneling and bridge construction projects.
Noppen would like to thank the speakers, delegates and sponsors Philips, Mageba, Harrenknecht, PPT, Utracon, Babendererde Engineers, PERI, RGS Technology, and Trelleborg for taking part and ensuring the success of the summit.