Rehabilitation of Long Tau channel and Dredging of Soai Rap

By SGGP - 30/07/2008

On 27 July 2008, Minister of MOT Ho Nghia Dung talks to Engineers of Portcoast Consultant Corporation on the Soai Rap Channel survey journey.

Concerning with the complement of transportation project in HCMC for life and developing City’s economic, among that was seaport system development. Minister of Ministry of Transportation Ho Nghia Dung said that the Ministry and HCMC agreed that HCMC will build domestic roads, and the Ministry will invest to build outer belt – roads and inter- province ways.

Minister Ho Nghia Dung considered that the complement seaport project of Cai Mep – Thi vai in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province was a good process. Many ports have prepared to be built such as International Port Cai Mep, Thi Vai…. Besides, traffic lines linking between port region and main road lines such as the 51 National – road were invested. Minister Ho Nghia Dung said that MOT was in the position to invest main road lines and Vung Tau City had responsibility for building internal roads in port areas

Historical alteration

100 years ago, Long Tau Channel was in -7 to -8m depth, exceeding Soai Rap Channel, and became a main channel for ports on Sai Gon Port. However, at this depth, Long Tau Channel became tight; even it couldn’t meet a requirement for big vessel traveling. According to Mr. Pham Anh Tuan, Project Manager of Portcoast Consultant Corporation, the company was researching to rebuild seaport system project in Vietnam. In recent year, they had to nearly dredge Long Tau Channel every year to make safe for vessels to move. But, there were so much bend; although being dredged, Long Tau Channel only accommodated the vessels of 30.000 tons. Last time, the 30.000 ton- vessel was a big vessel, but with the development of technique and economic, 30000 to 70000 ton- ship or more than were considered as big vessel. Long Tau Channel became overloaded when meeting new requirement. At this time, Soai Rap channel, a wide river – bed and quite straight, became “big candidate” before new requirement.

Cải tạo Lòng Tàu, nạo vét Soài Rạp
In the past 10 years, leader of HCMC gave out an idea to dredge Soai Rap Channel to be a new channel for City. Firstly, the presentation of tens of ports on Sai Gon River, depth within the City, led trucks and containers to move in the city, causing traffic jam. This idea became true when Portcoast Consultant Corporation researched and found out that Soai Rap could be dredged. And Tan Thuan Industrial Development Company (IPC), host of investor, carried out dredging Soai Rap Channel at -7.5m depth successfully. Now, full- load vessel of 10.000 tons and 15.000 ton –vessel could move in Soai Rap Channel smoothly However, that can’t meet new requirement, even comparing with the Soai Rap Channel’s ability. Therefore, dredging Soai Rap Channel is putting in urgent issue, especially in the condition of that the number of goods in HCMC Port increases 30% per year regularly.

Fastly dredging Soai Rap Channel further

After survey Soai Rap channel, Minister of MOT Ho Nghia Dung announced to press that Minister entirely supports HCMC to continue dredging Soai Rap Channel from -11 to -12m to accommodate vessel of 50.000 tons and 70000 ton – vessel can take advantage of tidal. This kind of vessel could meet the goods transportation demand for HCMC and region at this time. Maybe, Minister Ho Nghia Dung didn’t affirm that by chance. Besides, the research of consultants, host of investors, etc, the presentation in the survey delegation of Mr. Nguyen Le Chon Tam, the representative of Dubai World Corporation, the second big seaport Corporation around the world, proved that dredging Soai Rap Channel would be feasible. This corporation invested a depth port in Hiep Phuoc, next to Soai Rap channel, and use Soai Rap for vessels. Mr. Tam says that Dubai World is finding capital to help HCMC carry out dredging Soai Rap channel fast. Besides, Mr. Phan Hong Quan, General Director of IPC, host of investor, also affirmed that 7 km quay was planed to build on Soai Rap River, invested by many investors, in which Dubai World Corporation invested to build 1km.

However, Minister Ho Nghia Dung still affirmed that Long Tau channel will be remained and operated with Soai Rap Channel. Minister said: “Long Tau Channel is still dredged and rehabilitated frequently.” According to Portcoast, Long Tau has been using by many ports, and they have invested to rebuild all infrastructure of ports which is suitable for the demand of Long Tau. Using of both channels will be only good for developing of HCMC seaport system.

Confusedly, road system liking to Hiep Phuoc port region isn’t invested as its potentiality. The roads are still small and have “many chicken nests”. When trucks and big containers travel, it is afraid that the roads can’t meet the requirement.

Source: SGGP

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