|The equipment brought VND562 million ($27,000) at auction in July, after eight years of being in stand-by mode as an asset of the Viet Nam Inland Waterways Administration No 1 (VIWA 1).— Photo vov
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport said on Wednesday it was unfazed by the auction of dredging equipment for one thirteenth of the original cost of VND7.18 billion (US$346,000).
The equipment brought VND562 million ($27,000) at auction in July, after eight years of being in stand-by mode as an asset of the Viet Nam Inland Waterways Administration No 1 (VIWA 1).
However, a valuation by the Ha Noi-based International Valuation and Investment Consultancy JSC. before the auction showed that the dredge was worth only VND449 million ($21,600).
The VIWA 1 received the equipment in September, 2006, in a project to dredge a part of the Lo river running through the northern province of Phu Tho.
After a few months in use, the dredge and associated equipment were kept in storage until sold at auction to Mua Xuan Transport Cooperative JSC.
"The equipment was not used because its operation costs about twice that of other machines," VIWA 1 director Tran Xuan Khoi told Giao Thong Van tai (Transport) newspaper. "The dredging bridge was also not long enough to reach the river bed".
The dredging bridge was only three metres long while river depths ranged from five to 20 metres following years of sand and gravel mining.
The Ministry of Transport blamed the Shipbuilding Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), an establishment under the Viet Nam Shipbuilding Industry Group (VINASHIN), for using outdated river data to design the dredging machine.
The numbers the institute used were from 1995-2002 when the Lo river was only about 1-1.3 metres deep in a dry season.
"The equipment stayed in storage and there were no maintenance funds provided for it. This quickly led to the decline of the equipment," said Khoi. — VNS