BA RIA – VUNG TAU (VNS)— The Ministry of Transport yesterday opened Cai Mep Thi Vai International Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which is designed to meet the increasing demand of container shipping.
|The Ministry of Transport yesterday opened Cai Mep Thi Vai International Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.—VNA/VNS Photo Doan Manh Duong
The VND13 trillion (US$619 million) project, the country's biggest and deepest port, was funded in part by an ODA loan from the Japan International Co-operation Agency. It will open direct channels with other domestic and international ports, cutting shipping costs.
"The port will also help increase the socio-economic development of Ba Ria Vung Tau and the southern region, while reducing the burden on other southern ports," said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.
It would also be a shipping hub, connecting countries in the Mekong region. Hai said the opening marked 40 years of relationships with Japan.
Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Van Cong said the port, with its direct channels and access roads, would play an important role in attracting foreign direct investment to the region as well as international maritime forwarders from the USA, Denmark, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
It was an international gateway for the direct transport of Vietnamese exports to Europe and North America, without the need to stop at international transit terminals in the region, Cong said.
"This will enhance the competitiveness of Viet Nam exports while consolidating the position of Viet Nam in world maritime transport."
Construction of the port, managed by Ministry of Transport's Project Management Unit 85, included the Cai Mep container port and the Thi Vai general goods port, plus roads and bridges connecting to National Highway 51.
The container port includes two berths with a total length of 600m which can accommodate 130,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) vessels, and other facilities that provide the capacity of 700,000 TEUs (20ft equivalent container units) per year.
Meanwhile, the general cargo port has two berths which can serve 50,000-tonne vessels, plus other port facilities that have the capacity of 1.6-2 million tonnes a year.
The roads and bridges built for the port include 8.5km of road with four lanes and an 80kph speed limit.
Approved by the Government in 2004, the project was completed by Japanese contractors, including Toa-Toyo, Penta-Rinkai, Penta-Toyo, IHI-MES, and domestic contractors Cienco6-Truong Son and the Maritime Safety Corporation. JPC-Nippon Koei was the major supervisor.
According to the Viet Nam Port Association , Viet Nam had 30 ports with 166 harbours and 350 wharfs.
Of these, only some that became operational after 2006 were equipped with state-of-the-art loading and unloading facilities. This shortage reduced the loading capacity in Viet Nam to only 50 per cent, compared to advanced ports in other countries in the Asian region.
The association said the Vietnamese cargo transport industry had attracted a number of foreign investors; close to 1,000 companies had become established in the country, capturing about 70 per cent of the logistics work. Vietnamese companies were only able to supply simple logistics services, hence contributing little to the country's GDP.
The association said Vietnamese logistic services had not yet fulfilled their potential. More than 90 per cent of imported and exported commodities were transported by sea. It was predicted that around 600 million tonnes of goods would be transported this way by 2015 and around 1,100 million tonnes by 2020.
Total container handling capacity through Vietnamese ports would be up to 15.2 million TEUs by 2015, and 29.2 million TEU by 2020. — VNS