Vinalines proposes upgrading of international transit port

Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has requested the Prime Minister to look into upgrading the current construction of Van Phong International Transit Port in central Khanh Hoa Province to handle container ships with capacity of 12,000 twenty-food-equivalent units (TEU).

A map of the Van Phong International Transit Port (Photo: TT)

Duong Chi Dung, Chairman of Vinalines, disclosed on March 13 that a proposal blueprint for the Van Phong international seaport is ready for submission to the Government by the third quarter of this year.
 
He added that the blueprint covers tax and custom policies which would be attractive to shipping companies and encourage investments from foreign and local firms.
 
Mr. Dung said that amongst the Government’s master plan for seaports till 2020, Van Phong would be the only world class port in Vietnam.
 
According to the initial design approved by the Ministry of Transport, the first phase would begin construction of two deep-sea ports which would berth container ships of 6,000 TEU capacities.
 
Already licensed to build the first phase, Vinalines would invest VND1 trillion (US$50 million) in the project.
 
Mr. Dung disclosed that earlier when preparations were underway for the construction of the Van Phong port, the ports in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and Hai Phong City had begun construction. These ports were designed to handle ships with 6,000 TEU capacities as well, which were later upgraded to berth ships up to 8,000 TEU capacities.
 
Before construction, marine experts had warned of Van Phong port design to be outdated as the new container ships had a capacity of 12,000 TEU and even 18,000 TEU.

The port project was originally set to go under way in January 2008 but was delayed due to a dispute with South Korea’s Posco steel group, which wanted to build a steel complex at Dam Mon in Van Phong Bay.

However, Posco’s project was officially rejected by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on November 13, 2008 for fear of environmental pollution and its effect on the Van Phong economic zones.

The construction of the Van Phong International Transit Port began on October 31, 2009.

The port has been designed by Japan’s Nippon Koei and Vietnam’s Port Coast.

By T. Duong – Translated by Chuong Thi

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