KHANH HOA (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has agreed with the Transport Ministry's proposal to halt the construction of Van Phong International Transshipment Port invested by the Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) in central Khanh Hoa Province after three years of delay.
He also urged the Viet Nam Marine Administration to seek new investors for the construction project.
Since 2007, the project was listed as one of the key national transport projects that the Vietnamese Government aimed to complete by 2020. Its construction, which included 37 wharves with a length of over 12.5km, was estimated to cost about US$3.6 billion.
The first phase of the project included the construction of two wharves with total length of 690 metres. It began in October 2009 and was expected to be completed last year. However, due to its investor's financial incompetence, the project got progressively more and more behind schedule.
Since the middle of last year, the Government has been asking the investor – Vinalines – to adjust its plan for the first phase. Accordingly, Vinalines recommended expanding the port to be able to handle container ships up to 12,000 TEU [twenty-foot equivalent units] to take advantage of deep Van Phong Bay instead of 9,000 TEU as in the original design.
However, the company failed to finalise these adjustments.
Deputy director of the Van Phong Economic Zone Management Board Hoang Dinh Phi told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he was not surprised by the halt because since construction started in 2009, little work had been done except driving some stakes into the sea.
Although Van Phong International Port was selected as a key project to drive the growth of the economic zone, its slow progress forced Khanh Hoa province to change the zone development plan, he said.
Phi said that now the province was concentrating on other projects including a thermal power plant, ship building, an oil refinery and a non-tariff area instead of waiting for the completion of the long-delayed port project.
Van Phong International Transshipment Port project is the first of its kind in Viet Nam. At present, Viet Nam has about 260 ports but few can handle large container ships. Last year, Viet Nam's Cai Mep International Port Terminal in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province saw one of the world's largest container ships, the CMA CGM Laperouse, which has a capacity of 13,830 TEU. It's the largest ship that has ever docked in a Vietnamese port. — VNS