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Kicking off Van Phong international transit port
By Tuoitre, 20 Oct 2009

The first two jetties of Van Phong international transit port, Khanh Hoa are scheduled to be commenced by the end of October. This is considered to be a starting phase of the top transit container port construction project in the area for the marine economic development in Vietnam.

Phase 1: Up-warming

The adverse weather conditions of October are only a “zero” to the workers who are in very attempt of preparation of layout construction for Van Phong international transit port kick-off. Hundreds of tons of rocks are being promptly mobilized as to prepare for the commencement date.

A foreign ship transporting oil in the offshore of Van Phong gulf - Photo: P.S.N.

Following a standstill decade, this national attracting work is about to be “laid the foundation stone”. “We are too slow-paced. Speed up or the chance will be out of the hand” says Mr. Pham Van Chi, the former chairman of People’s Committee, Khanh Hoa province.

“Catalyst” Vinalines

Compared to the ports in Singapore and Hong Kong, Van Phong port has the advantage on a special close windy gulf which can very well avoid storms and monsoons. The depth of navigational channel to the port wins over 22m on average and 44m at some points. This is the deep water port No 1 in the area. As calculated that the construction of Van Phong port can economize up to billions of USD thanks to the natural depth.

Mr. Doan Manh Dung

According to Mr. Duong Chi Dung, the General Director of Vinalines Shipping Co (Vinalines), Van Phong international transit port will be developed in 03 phases. In the starting phase, Vinalines will be the project owner of construction of the two jetties, which each can accommodate container vessels with a capacity of 9.000 TEU (one TEU equal to one 20-feet container), some logistics, warehouses and yards.

4.000 billion VND is the total investment capital of these two construction packages. “The first deep-water port is to be accomplished in 18 months with a design capacity of 9.000 TEU but can entirely accommodate container vessels of up to 11.000 TEU” says Mr Dung. Also, the “rear” area in service of these jetties will be constructed right away. In this area will come into being international standard container warehouses and yards as well as other relevant logistics areas.

Need for foreign owners

According to the Engineer Doan Manh Dung – the General Secretary of Maritime Science and Technology Association in Ho Chi Minh city – who is close to and experienced in Van Phong port construction project, there must be at least US$4-5 million investment capital to shape an international modern port and obviously Vinalines feels it difficult to shoulder such amount by herself. “From the years of late 1990s and recently, the foreign owners, as presented on the potential of Van Phong port, have strongly affirmed that this is an international significant project which must be financed from many different investment capital sources” states Mr. Doan Manh Dung. Also, Mr. Nguyen Trong Hoa, the head of management of Van Phong economic Zone says that Vinalines can invest in the up-warming phase only, i.e. building the first two jetties.

Expressing their worry about the impossibility of shouldering all the phases by Vinalines only, the sea port consultants highlight the necessity of foreign owners as to take advantage of their experience, management knowledge and capital sources as well as business relationship. As recommended by Mr. Pham Anh Tuan, the project manager of Portcoast Consultant Corporation (Portcoast), it is the best to draw some of the world’s top 12 shipping Agents to together invest and build the logistics, which can, by this way, both attract the foreign investment capital and draw these shipping Agents into the port operation.

“To succeed in the construction of an international container transit port, it is of necessity to closely connect with shipping Agents in such a manner that these shipping Agents feel the best benefits from the investment and operation in this port such as offering the preferential treatment on costs, expenses, fees, duties, etc” highlights Mr Tuan.

Starting from infrastructure

“Previously, many investors from the U.S, Japan, Europe, Middle East, etc “took a rough glare” at Van Phong economic Zone development planning, which might be resulted from the fact that there were no obvious signs, especially the infrastructure investment” says Pham Van Chi.

Presently, the infrastructure system in Van Phong is of extreme poverty. The 20km access road to Van Phong economic Zone can handle vehicles of 13 tons only while it must shoulder vehicles of 30 tons as to be in service of Van Phong port, not inclusive of modern railways, international airports, financial system supporting the port such as banks, insurance, etc. All these infrastructure systems are not yet located in Van Phong” highlights the Engineer Doan Manh Dung.

As considered by Mr. Pham Van Chi, approximately US$100 million is the investment capital for the synchronous construction of infrastructure system to serve the whole economic zone development. Also, Mr. Chi adds that the application of taxes during 15 years should be allowed in Khanh Hoa by the Prime Minister so as to finance the synchronous construction and development of infrastructure system in Van Phong. “We lack the capital sources and need the foreign investors. But, to draw them, the infrastructure system must be accomplished in advance. The port and access road must be synchronously constructed and completed” says Mr. Chi.


Benefits to not only Khanh Hoa

In the exchange with Tuoi Tre Newspaper on the preparation of kicking off the first two jetties, Mr. Nguyen Chien Thang – the permanent deputy chairman of Khanh Hoa province People’s Committee says:

- Presently, the layout clearance work has been complete while the procedure for assigning the land to Vinalines is still in process. As thus, in the first recent meeting of the steering board, the relevant departments and offices have been assigned to promptly finish this procedure. The national power system in service of the livings has been located. The contractors must sufficiently ensure the power supplies for the construction. In this area, the water supply is rare and so the underground water will be used and mobilized if necessary.

Is  the construction of these two jetties  in synchronism with the relevant infrastructures?

- The synchronous kick-off of two jetties with the subsidiary works in Van Phong economic zone planning allows the immediate operation subsequent to the accomplishment. As to be in early completion, Vinalines is appointed to be a contractor by the Prime Minister. The contractor is in the association with Korea. The package 1 is scheduled to be completed in 36 months or earlier.

In order to be in “accompany” with the port, the amount of land use right auction in Bai Dai area (Cam Lam district) has just been decided to be “borrowed” as to be in service of Van Phong economic Zone. In coming time, the local bond will be issued for Van Phong economic Zone. The road between the port and the free-tax area has been approved at the line alternative by the province. This road is now in the construction design and will be put the tender for construction in this late year or next early year. The management of Van Phong economic zone is promoting the procedure of pulling the power network to Dam Mon. The alternative of railway line connecting the port with the north – south railway and fresh road line of 120m wide connecting Dam Mon with the national highway 1A has been has been put forward and programmed.

As Van Phong port comes into being, not only does Khanh Hoa achieve the benefits but also the provinces in the south, center and western highlands run into favorable conditions to attract the investment in production and services. Over the past years, the oil transit operation only in Van Phong has cost around VND1.500 billion per year. Due to the fact that there is no transit port, almost all export cargos have, up to now, been transited in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cao Hung (Dai Loan), etc, which leads to the increase in costs, waste of time and difficulties in competition with foreign cargos.

The good construction and effective operation of Van Phong international transit port will be an important “kick” to promote the national socio-economic development.



Kỳ tới: Tăng tốc cho Vân Phong


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