ĐÀ NẴNG — The central city would start upgrade work at the overloaded Thọ Quang fishing port in the first quarter this year, according to Phạm Thành Trung, deputy head of the port's management board.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had allocated VNĐ79 billion (US$3.4 million) for the first quarter of 2020.
Trung said the port, which was put into operation 13 years ago, was downgraded and overloaded with more boats arriving from the central region and other provinces.
Logistics and loading capacity could not meet the increasing demand of a key fishing port in the region, Trung said.
The upgrade project, which was listed as one of the key projects for 2016-20, will help build a new pier to host more fishing boats and a waste treatment plant, as well as a trade centre to serve 3,000 fishermen and traders.
The 58ha port – the biggest fishing dock in the central region – handled 17,600 fishing trawlers in 2019, receiving 130,000 tonnes of fish and seafood worth VNĐ6 trillion ($261 million).
It also shelters 2,000 fishing boats, three times more than its capacity, and even 4,000 boats during the stormy season.
A fleet of 26 oil tankers and four filling stations were not enough to supply the crowd of vessels each day, while 10 ice factories and 14 cold storage systems only provided 70 per cent for the demand.
The city has been calling for investment in wastewater treatment and a seafood processing zone with logistics to run under the PPP (public-private-partnership) model.
The port zone has been seriously polluted for years with poor waste treatment and solid waste from 23 seafood processing plants and 11 shipyards.
A wastewater treatment plant with European standards will be built as part of the upgrade project in 2020.
According to the city’s investment promotion agency, the project needs $43.4 million to become an international fishing port in the future.
A $17 million fund will be reserved for dredging the port-channel for larger fishing trawlers, and a fishery training centre will be developed to supply qualified manpower for fishing boats.
Đà Nẵng, which has 15,000sq.km of fishing grounds, has a fleet of 2,300 fishing boats, of which 699 are deep-sea trawlers.
The city’s seafood and aquatic product industry earns an export turnover of $220 million per year. — VNS