The relocation of ports out of Ho Chi Minh City will be completed in 2010?
By SGGP - 14/05/2008
The steering committee of relocation plan for ports on Sai Gon River and Bason shipyard has just hold the first meeting in Ha Noi on 12 May 2008. Mr. Ho Nghia Dung, minister of Transport chaired the meeting. The purpose of this meeting is about progress of relocation plan.
Portcoast Consultant Corporation (PCC) – the enterprise appointed by Ministry of Transport as consultant for relocation plan’s preparation has presented a quite detailed report regarding project’s execution. Among Saigon New port, Saigon Port, Vegetable Port, Tan Thuan Dong Port and Ba Son Shipyard who all involve in this plan , only Tan Cang can successfully complete its mission two years ahead the deadline. The others still meet a lot of difficulties.
The most difficulty enterprise is Sai gon Port who needs to move 2 ports: Nha rong and Khanh Hoi by 2010. Mr. Le Cong Minh, General Director, said that most concern Sai gon port facing so far is site clearance in Hiep Phuoc and Nha Be commune where 2 ports will move to. Ho Chi Minh City authority has had plan to reserve the area of 100 ha which Saigon Port can develop their port construction plan into 2 phrases: phrase 1 will develop jetty berth of 800m and the area of 54 ha for infrastructures to serve for tugboat and ship repair services; phrase 2 will develop jetty berth of 1,000 m. However, site clearance for phrase 1 is completed just nearly 50% of total required site so far. If the site clearance for phrase 1 is not completed by third quarter this year, we will not have sufficient time to build new ports so as Nha Rong port and Khanh Hoi port can move to as scheduled.
But that is just one side of the problem. Another side also causes negative impact to the progress of the relocation plan. That is port operators do not have sufficient money for moving process and constructing new ports.
Petition for the height of 45 meter of Thu Thiem 4 bridge
In order to receive big size vessels when the current site of Nha Rong and Khanh Hoi ports are allowed to change to passenger wharf, the minimum height of Thu Thiem 4 Bridge linked District 2 and District 7 should be 45 meter. More and more big vessels in and out HCMC brings a lot of benefits to HCMC’s tourism. Therefore, many port operators would make petition to HCMC for thoroughly consideration regarding making investment to Thu Thiem 4 Bridge.
According to Mr. Minh, total investment of phrase1 of new ports of Nha rong and Khanh Hoi in Hiep Phuoc are estimated about 2,700 billions dong in which Sai Gon port only can afford 10%. In spite of having joint ventures with some partners, Sai Gon Port still carry heaviest the burdens on their shoulder. Mr. Minh added that Sai Gon port is expecting the approval from appropriate authorities on its business transformation plan which current site of Nha Rong and Khanh Hoi port will be invested in passenger terminal and some services in the hope that they can earn more money to invest in new ports. However, these plans need to be correlatively with the plan for center of HCMC. Likely Saigon Port, Ba Son Shipyard also lacks of money to invest in new factory in Cai Mep Thi Vai, BRVT. They are expecting to change the purpose of use of current site so as to attract investment for new factory. When is the plan for center of Ho Chi Minh City done? The timing is scheduled in September 2008 but Mr. Nguyen Huu Tinh, Vice chairman of HCMC PC has committed in this meeting that HCMC will give priority for business transformation plans Tan Thuan Dong Port will be relocated in Hiep Phuoc, Nha Be Province, Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City is preparing document to hand over the site to Tan Thuan Dong. Vegetable Port is requesting to switch to other business.
Site clearance in new areas and investment capital are two main factors to delay the progress of relocation plan. And they are not easy to solve. Possibility of moving 5 ports out of HCMC by 2010 remains difficult question.
(Translated by Portcoast)
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