Port in a storm

February 24, 2012 | 15:08
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Ho Chi Minh City port removal plans are on the back foot due to capital shortages and poor infrastructure.

As planned, Saigon Port in District 4 will be removed to Hiep Phuoc area in suburban Nha Be district and Ben Nghe Port to Phu Huu area in District 9. However, extending the removal process on the back of capital shortages  and poor infrastructure hurt these ports’ business targets in 2011 against 2010.

According to a Saigon Port Authority report, 10.2 million tonnes of goods called in on the port in 2011 while more than 11 million tonnes commodities passed through the port in 2010.

“Our business finalised building a 400 metre wharf in Saigon Port-Hiep Phuoc area but some problems persist, making us impossible to bring the new port into service,” said Saigon Port Authority secretary Nguyen Ngoc Toi.

Toi said road D3 linking the new port to Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park had just completed half of site clearance work. The new port’s architectural planning is not yet in place to make it eligible for further capital injection. Besides, Soai Rap River channel needs to be further dredged to receive bigger ships.

“The state and relevant local authorities need to set aside a land fund to ensure synchronised development of port and access infrastructure parallel to associated logistic and marine services areas to facilitate the operation of removed ports in the new location,” said Toi.

Like Saigon Port, in 2011 Ben Nghe Port just received 3.8 million tonnes of goods against over 4.2 million tonnes in 2010. Its new port in Phu Huu area has reportedly basically completed construction with modern wharf and storage system. However, no decent access road heading the new port is now in place.

Responding to Saigon Port and Phu Huu Port authorities proposals, Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department deputy director Tran The Ky said the city authorities had demanded to bring two new ports into service right in 2012. However, road D3 building and Soai Rap channel dredging plans face stagnation due to a capital dilemma.

“Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee was yet to approve central urban area design plan which includes Saigon Port, making us impossible to lure investment into existing port area to raise fund for new port construction,” said Ky, adding that the road to Ben Nghe-Phu Huu port was initially planned to be built under build-operate-transfer form. Later, since no investor jumped onboard, city authorities decided to build the road using the state budget.

By Quang Duy


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