Vietnam: BSV and SBI on the Metro Line 1 – Ben Thanh Station & Le Loi C&C in Ho Chi Minh City

As part of the construction of Ho Chi Minh City's new Metro Line 1 from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien, Bachy Soletanche Vietnam (BSV) started works in January 2017 on diaphragm walls for the station and C&C tunnel. This involved a triple challenge: 2.0m thick DW, deep CWS joints, and strict verticality on this site in the heart of the city.

Launched in 2012, works on Metro Line 1 from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City will cover a total distance of 19.7km. The overall project comprises a tunnel of 2.6km including three underground stations (Ben Thanh, Opera House and Ba Son) and 17.1km of overhead line with 11 stations. In total, this vast mass transport project for the city’s inhabitants involves investment of $2.491 billion, financed as an official development assistance by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, currently reorganized as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


Bachy Soletanche Vietnam (BSV) and the Major Projects division (SBI) formed an internal joint-venture to work as a subcontractor in charge of construction of the diaphragm walls of this subway line through the CP1a Package, which includes the construction of a station and a tunnel from km 0-132 to km 0+615. In other words, the distance from the Ben Thanh Station to Opera House Station, under Le Loi Street, one the city’s main shopping streets. The main contractor is a joint-venture between Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. and Cienco4 Group.

The three sites’ challenges

Works began on 7 January 2017. They consist of installing a diaphragm wall with a length of 1,616m, with widths ranging from 1m to 2m and to depths from 39m to 58m. It is expected to require a total of 126,000m3 of concrete to complete the entire package. 

  1. The construction of 2.0m thick diaphragm wall is the first ever constructed by the Group. The works on this type of diaphragm wall will be commenced in August 2017. Great cautions must be taken when we excavate this kind of diaphragm wall.
  2. The CWS joint was required to be deepened until diaphragm wall toes (~max. 54m). A huge service crane (250 tons) must be deployed for this special installation work.
  3. The verticality tolerance must be kept as best as 1:200 using BAYA and mechanical grabs. Taralog instruments by Jean Lutz were installed on all grabs in order to monitor the trench verticality.

The terminus will be sunk to a depth of 40m and will have four underground levels. As for the Quach Thi Trang roundabout which is opposite the famous Ben Thanh market, it will be demolished, and the area’s new look will be revealed in 2020. On the line 1, each train will initially be made up of three carriages that can transport up to 930 passengers. At peak times, 14 trains will be operating, passing every 4.5 minutes to carry around 124,800 passengers an hour. By 2020, the number of trains will be increased so that 20 trains can operate at three-minute intervals, and by 2040, it is planned to increase this further to 28 trains every two minutes to meet a forecast increase in volume to 1.3 million passengers a day.

The sub-contract value is €16.9m; and the construction program would last until February 2018.

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