PORTCOAST, a “big” consulting firm in sea port development in Vietnam

By ShippingTime - 06/2009

Mr. Le Cong Minh, General Director of Sai Gon port informed that front water depth of SP-PSA international sea port (a joint venture between Vietnam National Shipping Lines, Sai Gon Port and PSA Vietnam, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore's port operator PSA International) reached 14m and although the navigation had not been dredged, it was accessible to 60,000 DWT – 80,000 DWT vessels with the help of tides. This was an ideal depth for shipping activities, as a result, it was not by chance that after putting SP-PSA into operation, the ALP group, one of the world leading container shippers established a direct shipping line from SP-PSA port to USA. This line reduced the Vietnam - USA transportation time from 17 days to 15 days.

PORTCOAST, a “big” consulting firm in sea port development in Vietnam

To the view for many coming centuries

It is allowable to say so with the operation of SP-SPA port. Many surveys had been conducted and the section of Cai Mep - Thi Vai river with navigation channel depth in range of 12 to 16m (the deepest location reaches over 60m and most shadow one of 10m) was selected to take the role of main goods terminal for the region in lieu of the sea port system in Ho Chi Minh city.

At that time, Mr. Tran Tan Phuc, General Director of Portcoast, the consultant for the development plan of sea port group in the territories of Ho Chi Minh city, Ba Ria - Vung Tau and Dong Nai Provinces, explained for that decision “In addition to the advantage of navigation, Cai Mep - Thi Vai area also is a “spacious, thinly populated” place, facilitating site clearance of the construction projects. But the most important fact is that Cai Mep - Thi Vai area is adjacent to the center of Southern focal economic zone. Goods can be distributed easily from Cai Mep - Thi Vai area to other regional places”.

The soundness of such decision has been approved by what are occurring in reality such as tens of big local and foreign investors constructing sea ports in that area.

Also according to the information released by Portcoast’s representative, when the all navigation channel of Cai Mep - Thi Vai zone is dredged to 14m, vessels with tonnage of 60.000 DWT - 80.000 DWT or even larger are accessible to the ports there without the help of tide. Currently, Ministry of Transport is urgently dredging the navigation channel for Cai Mep - Thi Vai zone in order to make that outlook come true. If there is not any change, from now to the end of 2011, Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) owned by the Joint Venture of Sai Gon Port, Vinalines and Maersk Group (Denmark), SSA- Sai Gon International Container port invested by Sai Gon Port and SSA Group (UAS), Gemandept – Terminal Link Port by the Joint Venture of Gemandept and CMA-CGM (France), Sai Gon Vietnam International Port by the Joint Venture of Huchison (Hong Kong) and SJCC etc shall be inaugurated and put into operation in Cai Mep - Thi Vai area. Those projects have been consulted by Portcoast from initial phase to the phases of construction and preparation for operation.

Marine economic development is the target of many countries with sea in the world in 21st century, in an attempt to execute and realize the Vietnam marine strategy to 2020, it requires not only attempts and correct direction made by managers but also a lot of social sources. In order to develop comprehensive sea port infrastructure system paving the way for marine economic development, Portcoast – a professional firm – is a reliable address.

Marine economy: recommended models!

It is expected that at the end second quarter of 2009, the Vietnam Seaports System Master Plan till year 2020 and orientation to year 2030 shall be submitted by the Ministry of Transport to the Government. Portcoast, the designer of such masterplan, informs that it will introduce many new principles, viewpoints and development target in order to develop the sea port system of Vietnam, overcome short-coming and integrate deeply and widely to the world. The first and foremost viewpoint suggested in this new masterplan is to make full use of advantage on natural condition to develop comprehensively and suitably the sea port system of Vietnam. Basing on this spirit, sea port development at which scale and location will be calculated specifically on the basis of the natural conditions and requirements of local economic development and with full consideration of interaction with adjacent sea ports. Such methodology certainly would overcome the fact that all provinces desire to develop the sea port, causing “fake” abundance of the sea port at the moment.

Sea port system of Vietnam in the new phase must overcome the incomprehensive condition of infrastructures. Port development must attach with traffic ways connecting to the ports, water and electric power systems etc, and special attention will be paid to interconnection of sea ports, national transportation system and logistic terminals (port service, trading etc) in the region. As a result, the contents in this masterplan will pave the way for calling for investment in infrastructures of sea ports, not only in berths (as current model) but also in common facilities such as navigation, breakwater etc.

A new feature of this new master plan is the port authority model. An officer of Portcoast told that this model is arm at comprehensive management of local ports and prevents unplanned and incomprehensive development. However, the port authority will not replace local authorities, but in contrary the former will include “personnel” of the latter. The former only control port business activities and related ones. This is not new “ideal” since the port authority model has been applied successfully in many countries in the world and helped local authorities effectively to regulate the activities of sea ports.

And model of a specialized consulting firm

Originally a design department under Southern Transport Engineering Sub-Institute – Ministry of Transport established in 1977, it became an enterprise and then in implementation of the Government’s privatization policy, it transformed into a joint-stock company so called Portcoast in 2004. Portcoast gradually reduced State’s share in the company. In 2007, the State’s share officially was zero percentage.

Developing intensively and extensively, Portcoast now processes a staff of 250 people including 5 Doctors of Science and more than 150 Masters of Science, design and investigation engineers. In the field of Ports and Maritime Engineering, Portcoast’s financial source is regarded the top one with charter capital of 51 billion VND, about six (06) times that of the second consulting firm of the same business line. With the strength of personnel and financial source, Portcoast has been constantly investing in modern investigation equipment, state of the art design software as well as technology transfer by suppliers.

With its excessive capacity for many years, Portcoast has been selected by internal and external project owners for many large and key projects in Vietnam. Projects involved by Portcoast are nationwide from the North to the South such as Vietnam Seaports System Master Plan till year 2020 and orientation to year 2030; Detailed Planning of Port groups 5, 6 and 8; Berths No. 2, 3, 4 of Cai Lan Port; Van Phong International Transshipment Terminal (starting phase); SP-SSA International Container Terminal; Access Channel for Large Vessels via Bassac river; Soai Rap navigation channel; Saigon Premier Container Terminal (SPCT); Saigon International Terminal Vietnam; SP-PSA International Terminal; Cai Mep International Terminal; Port and hydraulic facilities of the Integrated Steel Mill and Son Duong Port; Marine investigation of Nghi Sơn Petro-chemical Refinery Conjugate - Thanh Hoa; Long Son petrochemical complex etc.

PORTCOAST, a “big” consulting firm in sea port development in Vietnam

Mr. Pham Anh Tuan – Project Director, proudly says that Portcoast currently owns many modern equipment of ports and marine investigation. Due to higher and higher requirements of customers, especially, foreign investors, import of modern equipment and technology transfers have been executed continuously by Portcoast for last years. Portcoast also buys software licenses for its computers. All those attempts make Portcoast’s investigation and consulting service provisions both intensive and extensive. Unsatisfying with its achievements, Executive Management Board and with the support of company Party Cell and Youth Union, as a united block, tries its best to develop the consulting quality at a new level. Being embrued with the recommendation made by Deputy Minister Hoang Trung Hai during the recent working and visiting trip to Portcoast “Portcoast has become a leading local consulting firm but it is my recommendation that you should acknowledge yourself, evaluate your weakness and overcome it in order to keep up with international consulting firms”. Portcoast has constantly made its every effort to develop and to be well-matched with international firms.

Not only understanding clearly port system in Vietnam, one of the advantages owned by Portcoast is its experienced and qualified staff. In addition to its Masters of Science and engineers who were well trained internally and in abroad, Portcoast has gathered and integrated with local universities, institutes in studying, consulting and designing. With the cooperation and association with top foreign consulting firms, Portcoast has increased its consulting quality and gained high confidence of clients.

PORTCOAST, a “big” consulting firm in sea port development in Vietnam

(Translated by Portcoast)

Source: ShippingTime

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