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Soon announce the navigable channels safely and effectively
By GTVT, 05 Oct 2012
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This is the announcement of the Deputy Minister Mr. Nguyen Van Cong during a meeting with the Vietnam Maritime Administration and other stakeholders around the issue of proclaiming the navigable channels which took place yesterday morning in Hanoi.

Proclamation of the navigable channels according to tonnage of ships: Not yet optimized

At present when opening a new stream or upgrading, renovating existing channels with new standards, the Vietnam Maritime Administration will perform management functions of maritime activities; enact the decision to proclaim the channels. The ship channels were proclaimed by tonnage (DWT) of the largest type of vessel allowed to operate in the channels. For example, the channel into the port of Hai Phong, Dinh Vu area for ships of 2 – 3 thousand DWT, Cam River area for ships of 1 thousand DWT…

LAPEROUSE vessel of 157.092 DWT successfully docked at Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT).

The Deputy Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration Mr. Do Duc Tien said; the proclamation of channels by DWT tonnage is because when planning the development of seaport, the scale planning of port is by the DWT tonnage of ships. When designing the channels it’s based on the tonnage of planned ships into the docks. Annually, the Corporation ensuring maritime safety will perform actual depth measurements of the navigable channels then will publish the actual depth of the shipping channels, focusing on the shallowest locations on the channels to inform the ships.

Portcoast Consultant Corporation said that the proclamation of the channels by registered tonnage has unintentionally limited the effectiveness of exploiting the channels. Actual pilot to escort large vessels entering and leaving seaports in Cai Mep – Thi Vai area is evidence for the limitations when proclaiming the channels by DWT. The current proclaimed Cai Mep – Thi Vai navigable channels for large vessels of up to 80,000DWT into Cai Mep, 70,000DWT into Thi Vai. However after nearly 3 years of piloting, by taking advantage of high tides and with supporting conditions, vessels of up to 157,000DWT have entered and left CMIT port in Cai Mep, vessels of up to 117,000DWT have entered and left SP-PSA port in Thi Vai safely.

Thus, if controlling the tonnage of ships of up to only 80,000DWT will waste and miss the opportunity to make Cai Mep – Thi Vai a network of global ocean shipping.

Technically, the main parameters of the navigable channels relating to maritime vessels, including the width, depth, radius of curvature. These factors relate to the width, draft at full load, the length of the vessel, and the highest height of the antenna on-board. Meanwhile, with maritime ships, although having the same registered DWT tonnage but the size of the width, draft at full load and the length of most ships are different depending on the type of ship. Also from here, can confirm that proclaiming channels by DWT tonnage is inappropriate.

Promptly innovate the proclamation of channels

The Deputy Minister of the MOT Mr. Nguyen Van Cong confirmed that the proclamation of channels by ship tonnage in Vietnam presently is inappropriate and it excludes opportunities for many shipping companies, many shipping has the capability to operate safely entering and leaving the seaports of Vietnam. The form of proclaiming channels by registered DWT tonnage of ships leads to not being able to take advantage of the full available capacity of the navigable channels system, limiting the use of the channel’s infrastructure into the port that has been invested, wasting national resources, restricting trade. That is not to mention the proclamation of channels by DWT tonnage of ships and proclaiming maritime depth as in our country today is quite simple and incomplete information for shipping companies.

Navigable channels into the port of Hai Phong.

In actuality, according to research on some special ports which are leading ports in Europe, also on the river, such as Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremen, Antwerp… the guidance instructions for shipping companies only show the characteristics of channels such as: width, depth, radius of curvature. The port authority periodically once every 3, 4 months issues documents with all information on seaports, the port waters, channels, maritime operation guidance,… in the field of their management. This information are basis for shipping companies, freight owners, agents, brokers,… to consider, decide and establish plans for which ship size to bring into the port.

It should be noted that the above ports have navigable channels into ports similar to ports in our country. Periodically every 3 months or few months, they issue Guidance information on seaports of Rotterdam, in which, on the channels section, provide information on width, depth, radius of curvature… and guide ships operate on the channels; Not specified by registered DWT tonnage when ships operate on the channels but only proclaim the ability to receive ships of wharfs by DWT tonnage.

The Deputy Minister Mr. Nguyen Van Cong requested that the immediate action is that the Vietnam Maritime Administration coordinate with the Maritime Safety Assurance Corporations, based on the parameters of the channels, soon proclaim the navigable channels in order to fully exploit the effectiveness of the channels but still ensure safety. For the long run, the Vietnam Maritime Administration direct, consult and conduct more research on international rules as well as current regulations for the construction of Navigable Channels Information Manual. The Deputy Minister noted that the Vietnam Maritime Administration consider using quarterly and yearly data which has been tested, evaluated and supplied by the Maritime Safety Assurance Corporations and hired consultants to ensure accurate data and enhancing safety of ships entering and leaving.

Thanh Binh
(Translated by Portcoast)


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