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Why Ports wait for Roads?!
By TTO, 23 Aug 2009

Mr. Trần Tấn Phúc - Photo: N.Ẩn

The issue of post-port infrastructure system network in Ho Chi Minh city and in the surroundings is the content of the exchange between Tuoi Tre Newspaper’s reporter and Mr Tran Tan Phuc – the Chairman, Director General of Portcoast Consultant Corporation (Portcoast), the sea port project planning Unit in Vietnam.

* Over the past time, sea port construction has not been in synchronism with transport infrastructure system. For instance, the relocation of Tan Cang-Sai Gon  to Cat Lai has got stuck on interprovincial Road 25; there is no access road to Sai Gon – Hiep Phuoc Terminal in construction yet; the project of expanding access roads is slowly executed while SPCT Terminal is going to be inaugurated. Could you give us some explanation?

- In my opinion, the deployment of transport infrastructure projects for sea ports is in slow process. For this reason, transport infrastructure projects, if intended to be deployed, must be subject to basic construction processes coupled with so many procedures. The second is the difficulty in the compensation for clearance. The next is the lack of invesment capital. The last but not least is the lack of a “bandmaster” to synchronously conduct sea port infrastructure projects and post-port infrastructure network.

* It is supposed that the reason for the above issue is the shortcoming of not handing the construction of access roads to ports over sea port construction investors. Could you raise your opinion?

- The 2010 up-to and 2020-bound detailed planning on sea port complex in Ho Chi Minh city, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces (sea port complex no 5) shows that:  infrastructure contruction investment capital including road system, power system, communications will be financed by the State’s budget.

The infrastructure systems are public works that are used to serve many local projects. Moreover, the investment cost is high while the capital withdrawal is slow. As thus, the use of the budget capital is definitely reasonable as most. Practically, for some specific projects, owing to the requirement of operation progress, investors themselves have to finance roads to link ports with common road network, such  as SP-PSA Port, Posco Port and SITV Port in Thi Vai area. However, the financed roads are of only about two or three hundred meters..


Sài Gòn - Hiệp Phước Port ground breaking ceremony (Nhà Bè dist., HCM City) on  May 16 2009 - Photo: Thanh Đạm


* Among the six sea port groups in the national planning, in your opinion, upon rapid investment in infrastructure system, which one should be prior?

- Firstly, for the synchronism, to develop the national sea port system, post-port transport system should be synchronously constructed in all port development planning areas. However, in term of emergency, port group no 5 (Ho Chi Minh city, Dong Nai and Ba Ria – Vung Tau provinces) and port proup no 1 ( the northern provinces from Quang Ninh to Ninh Binh) should be prior to the development of post-port transport infrastructure system.

These two port group are used to serve the country’s two most dynamic areas. Currently, port group no 5 is in charge of cargo throughput of about 50% and port group no 1 is undertaking cargo throughput of over 20% compared to the whole country.

* It is said that there will be the planning of sea port relocation out of Ho Chi Minh city. According to you, when is the project intended to be executed?

- Ports that should be relocated before 2010 consist of 5 ports and shipyards: Tan Cang – Sai Gon, Ba Son shipyard, Nha Rong – Khanh Hoi area (Sai Gon port), Tan Thuan Dong port and Rau Qua port. Transport infrastructure to link with relocated ports is considered to be prior to be invested before 2010.

In reality, there is no synchronism between sea port development and post-port infrastructure while new port projects in service of relocation are in slow execution as well. According to my forecast, the relocation of the 5 ports will be completed by 2010-2013 period.

* Upon the requirement of new port construction and consequently “ports wait roads” as a result, in your opinion, which method is advisable to disentangle?

- Most of all, there should be a “bandmaster” to run and develop sea port infrastructure system as well as transport system linked with ports, in order to regulate and develop synchronously, to manage and supervise project execution subject to the planning and the progress of the planning as approved. In case of “dephasing”, the “bandmaster” will organize and conduct as to resynchronize.

(Translated by Portcoast)


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