Mekong river delta waiting for navigation channel via Quan Chanh Bo canal

By - 24/04/2009

In order to make the preparation for the final investigation before the official design of a navigation channel via Quan Chanh Bo canal in Tra Vinh Province is held, last beginning days of April, an investigation team with the participation of more than 100 staff of Port Coast was dispatched to carry out topographical, hydrographical and oceanographic investigations of Quan Chanh Bo canal, the Bassac river and Dinh An estuary.

Mekong river delta waiting for navigation channel via Quan Chanh Bo canal
According to Doctor Truong Ngoc Tuong - Chief Engineer of Portcoast “This is the ever largest hydrological and oceanographic investigation held in Vietnam with 30 river stations together with modern equipment and devices to measure flow velocity, sediment, wave and salinity for an area of hundred kilometers”.

The alternative of large tonnage navigation channel to port system of Mekong river delta had been studied for 20 years by local and foreign consultants. However, the alternative of bypass channel via Quan Chanh Bo Canal to the Bassac river and Dinh An estuary recommended by SNC - Lavalin Canada in 2001-2002 was approved by the Prime Minister in 2007 for its technical and economical feasibilities. Total channel length is about 40km including four (4) sections as follows: the first one of 6km long is arranged on the Bassac river and the second one on Quan Chanh Bo canal of 19km, the third one is a Bypass Channel of 19km and the last one is a sea channel of about 6km. The navigation is about 25m in width.

After that passing Soai Rap navigation channel (Binh Khanh section), Long Tau channel, Cai Mep, Thi Vai, the Deputy Prime Minister directly investigated locations and implementations of Hiep Phuoc, Phu Huu 1, Cai Mep, Thi Vai, My Xuan, Phuoc An and Go Dau Port Zones.

In addition to the navigation, two sand and wave protection dykes shall be constructed offshore. Two waiting spaces and some bridges and local road shall be arranged.

In parallel with the construction of a new navigation channel via Quan Chanh Bo canal for 10,000 DWT fully-loaded and 20.000 DWT partially-loaded vessels and dredging of existing Dinh An navigation channel for 5,000 DWT vessels in an attempt of satisfying commodity transportation of Mekong river delta, the construction project of new entrance to Can Tho port by a bypass channel shall be implemented suitably with the planning of port group 6 upto 2010 approved by the Government in order to focus on constructing and developing Can Tho port in particular and sea port system in Mekong river delta in general.

If the rivers and arroyos in Mekong river delta are exploited effective for transportation, they will bring about high economic efficiency since it is estimated that Mekong river delta imports and exports about 9 - 12 million tons of goods by sea way annually in average. In which, volume via local ports only accounts for about 30%. The remaining one is done by ports in Ho Chi Minh city and Vung Tau Province resulting the freight of 7-10 USD/tons.

Furthermore, quality of goods especially agricultural products - the specialties of Mekong river delta could be deteriorated by road transport as well as traffic flow in the South is overloaded.

As a result, opening of a navigation channel via Quan Chanh Bo canal does not merely create a channel but also provide a driving force for the development of Duyen Hai District, the dead-end area of Tra Vinh. Upto now, Tra Vinh Province’s authorities has basically completed site clearance and compensated for more than 750 households and reclaimed 350ha in Duyen Hai District.

Mr. Phan Van Hung said, Party Committee Secretary of Dan Thanh Commune - the commune with large quantity of compensation caused by the project “Thanks to the inhabitants’ advocacy to the project, we have such a quick clearance”. In addition to the compensation for local inhabitants, the commune’s authorities had actively provided resettlement land lots and organized vocational training course free of charge to them in an attempt to stabilize their lives”.

According to information released by other officer, Duyen Hai district “Duyen Hai district and Tra Cu province had made a proposal to Ministry of Planning and Investment for establishing an open economic zone with an area of about 35,000ha in order to call for investment stipulating economic development. Many domestic and foreign investors has come to this region to investigate and study. However, they hesitated and were waiting for the completion of the Bypass channel project. Not only the Ministries, Central Agencies but also local inhabitants are waiting for Bypass channel project paving the way for poverty elimination of local people.

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