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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Ports & Shipping
Monday, 16 March 2009





  • Vietnam's impres­sive growth over the last several years has made the country more attractive to international companies, but Vietnam's rapid economic growth has not been matched by infrastructure devel­opment and Vietnam's poor infrastructure is hindering the economy's potential development.


  • With 3,200 kilometres of coastline Vietnam has 266 ports, about 144 of which are seaports stretching from north to south.


  • At present, Vietnam has 4 major cities which receive con­tainer vessels regularly with Ho Chi Minh City handling the largest volume accounting for 72% of the country's volume and 22% went through Hai Phong.


  • Most ports are rela­tively small with obsolete facilities and poor support services although more and more ports are being renovat­ed and updated to meet international standards and international shipping company APL Vietnam expects USD$4.5 billion to be invest­ed in ports over the next 5 years. Although investors are pumping money into developing key ports in the country, the lack of supporting inland infrastructure is hindering port develop­ment. For instance, Haiphong port complex could handle vessels up to 40,000dtw, but only ships below 10,000 tonnes can gain access to the port due to its limited access channel which leads to an increase of handling costs from USD$3 to USD$5 per tonne of cargo.


  • Cur­rently, ports around the country can only accommodate ships of 50,000dwt and the total handling capacity of the sector is only 3.6 millions dead weight tonnes, equaling 18% of the total ship­ping capacity while the fleet is both old and backward. Most of the ports are operating at full capacity.


  • The Ministry of Transport is making efforts to accelerate the development of seaport services in Ba Ria-Vung Tau to make the area the center of Vietnam and the world's shipping routes. According to a development plan released by Port Group 5 (PG5), comprised of HCMC, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the total weight of cargo handled at ports is projected to reach 53 million tons per year by 2010.


  • Ho Chi Minh City's ports handle well over 50 million tonnes of goods a year. A few years ago the Govern­ment projected them to handle a mere 26 million tonnes by 2010 and 35 million tonnes in 2020. The general secretary of the Viet Nam Ports Association, said growth in container cargo, which is at 3.4 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) a year now, was growing at 25% a year. City authorities are set to revise the goods-handling target to 100 million tonnes per year by 2010 and 200 million tonnes by 2020 in a bid to deal with the speedy growth in goods volume through ports. They are also carrying out a Government-approved plan to move 11 city ports along the Sai Gon River to suburbs, with five of them to be relocated by 2010. But so far only New Port has been moved to Cat Lai Port in Dis­trict 2. The other 4 - Ba Son Ship­ yard, Sai Gon, Tan Thuan Dong, and Rau Qua ports - are still in the process of carrying out land acqui­sition and other preliminary work.


  • In mid 2007 HCM City approved the revision of the construction plan for the city from now until 2020. Under the plan, by 2010 the port system in the city will have to be relocated. With nearly 60 years in the industry, Saigon Port company now ships to more than 120 loca­tions worldwide, including ports throughout the US as well as via Panama, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa and New Zealand. Saigon Port is now under the Vietnam National Shipping Lines Corporation (Vinalines) and oper­ates 5 terminals in Southern Vietnam. The company employs nearly 4,000 people, operates more than 3km of wharf, 30 buoy berths and total handling area of approximately 600,000m2. Its cargo throughput has increased from less than 1 million to more than 12 million tonnes per annum.


  • Vietnam's transport devel­opment strategy towards 2020 makes it clear that after expanding and upgrading Cai Lan, Hai Phong, Cua Lo, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Sai Gon, Can Tho, Thi Vai and Dung Quat ports to serve the 2001-2005 five-year socio-economic development plan, deep-water seaports in 3 key economic regions will be built together with the development of Van Phong international transit port. Under preliminary estimates, total investment capital for developing the seaport system for the 2005-2010 is about USD$3.71 bil­lion. Vietnam National Shipping Lines – Vinalines – alone needs around UDS$3.18 billion for developing the sector, in which USD$2.08 billion is for developing shipping fleets, USD$823 mil­lion for capital construction and the rest for investing in equipment and other projects.


  • In late 2007 the Vietnam Railway Corp (VNR) and Vinalines were nominated developers of a project to build a railway system linking Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province with Hiep Phuoc Port in HCMC, Van Phong Transshipment Port in central Khanh Hoa Province, Lach Huyen Interna­tional Gateway Port in northern Haiphong City and Cai Lan Port in Quang Ninh Province.


  • In late 2007 the state­ owned Vietnam Railway Cor­poration (VNR) announced that it was joining forces with the Vietnam National Ship­ping Lines (Vinalines) to de­velop a series of Inland Clear­ance Depots (ICD) in focal economic zones along the national railway network. The 2 corporations are drawing up a plan for develop­ing 3 ICD centers in 3 regions of northern, central and southern Vietnam, mostly along existing rail­ways. In the first stage, VNR and Vinalines will build ICD Lao Cai in the province bor­dering China.


  • Vietnam needs an investment of USD$4-5 billion to develop a network of seaports by 2015. The volume of cargo is expected to rise to 250 million tonnes a year in 2010 and to 550 million tonnes by 2020. The network will consist of deep­-sea ports, international transit ports, containers ports, and special use ports for handling coal, ores, and oil.


  • Between now to 2010 some 10 seaports at a cost of USD$3.75 billion will be built throughout the coun­try with more than USD$1.28 billion to be injected in the north, more than USD$875 million in the cen­tre and more than USD$1.25 billion in the south. It is expected that by 2020, at least 300 million tonnes of cargo will be transported via Viet­nam's seaport system per year.




The Prime Minister has approved a list of the nation's sea ports, classified into 3 grades : -



Grade I Ports

Cam Pha Port (Quang Ninh Province)

Hon Gai Port (Quang Ninh)

Hai Phong Port

Nghi Son Port (Thanh Hoa)

Cua Lo Port (Nghe An)

Vung Ang Port (Ha Tinh)

Chan May Port (Thua Thien-Hue)

Da Nang Port

Dung Quat Port (Quang Ngai)

Quy Nhon Port (Binh Dinh)

Van Phong Port (Khanh Hoa) Nha Trang Port (Khanh Hoa)

Ba Ngoi Port (Khanh Hoa)

HCM City Port

Vung Tau Port (Ba Ria-Vung Tau)

Dong Nai Port

Can Tho Port



Grade II Ports

Mui Chua Port (Quang Ninh)

Dien Dien Port (Thai Binh)

Nam Dinh Port

Le Mon Port (Thanh Hoa)

Ben Thuy Port (Nghe An)

Xuan Hai Port (Ha Tinh)

Quang Binh Port

Cua Viet Port (Quang Tri)

Thuan An Port (Hue)

Quang Nam Port

Sa Ky Port (Quang Ngai)

Vung Ro Port (Phu Yen)

Ca Na Port (Ninh Thuan)

Phu Quy Port (Binh Thuan)

Binh Duong Port

Dong Thap Port

My Thoi Port (An Giang)

Vinh Long Port

My Tho Port (Tien Giang)

Nam Can Port (Ca Mau)

Hon Chong Port (Kien Giang)

Binh Tri Port (Kien Giang)

Con Dao Port (Ba Ria- Vung Tau)



Grade III Ports (all 9 are in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province)

Rong Doi Port,

Rang Dong Port,

Hong Ngoc Port,

Lan Tay Port,

Su Tu Den Port,

Dai Hung Port,

Chi Linh Port,

Ba Vi Port,

Vietsopetro No.1 Port.



  • Vietnam’s rising rate of ships detained abroad has given an edge to international shipping firms in sealing lucrative transport contracts. According to the Vietnam Registey the country had 40 ships detained at international ports, or 12.08% of all ships in 2006. The average rate in other Asia-Pacific countries rests at 5.4%. In the first eight months of 2007 some 32 Vietnamese ships were detained at internation­al ports worldwide. Over the past 10 years, Vietnam has consistently appeared on a ‘blacklist’ issued by the Port State Con­trol Committee, a function of the memorandum of understanding on port state control (Tokyo MoU) in the Asia-Pacific region. The memorandum established a port state control regime in the Asia-Pacific region to eliminate substandard ship­ping and promote maritime safety, as well as to protect the marine environment and safeguard the working and living conditions on board. The number of detained ships is a ‘red alarm’, and port authorities worldwide have begun inspecting all Vietnamese ships entering their ports. Old vessels, inadequate repairs and poor-quality workers and management are the primary reasons for the detention of so many Vietnamese ships. At present, Vietnam has approximately 1,200 ves­sels, 432 of which are oper­ating in international mar­itime routes. The average life span of a Vietnamese ship is 14.5 years and the oldest ship still operating on international maritime routes is 45 years old. Inspections are being tightened at international ports in order to prevent substandard ships from entering and damaging the ecology or security of the area. In addition to the Tokyo MoU there are 8 other memorandums established to inspect and detain substandard ships, including the Paris MoU and Vina del Mar Agreement. The high rate of detention among Vietnamese ships is one reason shippers choose foreign companies to transport their goods, instead of hiring domestic firms.


  • Each year approximately 170 mil­lion tonnes of goods are transported via the country's ports. However, international shipping companies account for 80% of the market. Local shippers still don't have faith in domestic shipping companies so they choose FOB-based export and CIF-based import for safety.


  • Vietnam han­dled 3.71 million 20-foot equivalent units (up 21.6%) in 2006 and containerised volume growth was 19.8% between 1995-2006, which is expected to accelerate to 25% in coming years.


  • Vietnam accommo­dated 62,291 shipping visits in 2006 with 154,497 tonnes of cargo processed. Most of the ports in the south are overloaded while ports in the central region stand empty most of the time.


  • In 2006 the total container throughput in Ho Chi Minh City reached 3.6 million TEU. Cargo volume growth in 2007 for Ho Chi Minh City is estimated to hit 30% while Haiphong Port is estimated to touch 25%.


  • With a likely growth of 25-30% the capacity shortage for shippers is likely to be more than 300,000 TEU which means that exporters will have to expect more delays when loading containers on feeder vessels, especially during the peak shipping season.


  • Currently, Vietnam's ports are han­dling 80% of the country's import­ed and exported cargo. Due to the lack of deep-water ports, Vietnamese cargo must transit in foreign ports like Singa­pore or Hong Kong before being transported to international markets. Trans­shipment means additional handling of shipments, which is more expensive. Consequently, the added shipping costs drive up product costs and can help to decrease Vietnam's advantages over China or Thailand since transport costs have increased from USD$101 to USD$231 per 20-foot container which makes Vietnamese prod­ucts lose their competitiveness in inter­national markets.


  • It is expected that some 200 million tonnes of freight will pass through Vietnam’s ports by 2010 and 400 million by 2020. Currently the national capacity if just over 170 million tonnes whilst in 2006 it was 154 million tonnes.


  • According to the current master plan, the amount of cargo is forecast at 53 million tons up to 2010 and more than 73 million tons up to 2020. However, based on the av­erage growth of through-put cargoes at 10% per year, HCMC has proposed new fore­cast numbers for cargo of 76 million tons up to 2010 and 200 million tons up to 2020.


  • In 2007 4.85 million TEU of goods were trans-shipped through domestic ports, up 31.24% on 2006.


  • The average age of Vietnam’s sea-going ship fleet is 14.5 years, making it dif­ficult to win clients' confidence. By the end of 2007, Vietnam had 1,200 vessels with total registered capacity of more than 2.5 million tons and cargo deadweight capacity of more than 4 million tons. Of these, 432 ves­sels operate on international routes with total capacity of 1.95 million tons and total deadweight capacity of nearly 2.9 million tons. However, 150 ships have been in use for at least 30 years, including 46 ships that are active on international routes. Due to its financial straits, Vietnam­ese shipping firms have been able to buy only foreign ships that have al­ready been in use for 10 to 15 years.


  • Southern region handles 70% of con­tainer volume and the transport demand in the region and is growing at 20­25% per year. According to the MPI's latest inspection reports, there are 8 foreign-invested port develop­ment projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces. There are 3 operational ports VICT, Ba Ria Serece and Bong Sen and 4 under construction - Cai Mep Interna­tional Terminal, Saigon SSA, SP­PSA and P&O Saigon Port. The Thi Vai International Port project has had its licence withdrawn. There are 4 port projects under construction in Hiep Phuoc and Cai Mep-Thi Vai areas, which have a combined investment fund of USD$1 billion. Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex will replace Ho Chi Minh City's ports.


Key ports being planned include : -






Cat Lai Port


In 2008 the District 2 port forecast a throughput of 2.2 million 20ft equivalent units or some 30 million tons of cargo. In 2007, it handled 1.8 million TEU, generating revenue of about USD$128 million, accounting for 65.54% of the total volume of containerized cargo throughput in the HCMC region and 42.87% of the national total. It is now the 39th biggest contain terminal in the world.



Cai Mep-Thi Vai


A survey undertaken by toe transport ministry indicates that if the river is dredged to a depth of 14 metres it could accommodate vessels of up to 80,000DWT but delays are hampering the high profile Cai Mep-Thi Vai port projects touted as a gateway to the south. The Vietnam Seaport Association said that delays in building roads and bridges as well as channel access to the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex could delay the project. The Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex, located in the southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, will become the main commercial hub that will boost economic development in the southern region. Kyoei Steel holds a 52% stake in Thi Vai International Port Company. Currently, several licences for joint venture investment in ports at Cai Mep-Thi Vai have been issued : -



  1. SP-PSA Port - In October 2007 the State owned Saigon Port (SP) and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) began construction on an international container terminal multi-purpose port downstream from the Thi Vai International General Port on the Thi Vai River in Tan Thanh District in the southern coast province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. The SP-PSA International Port JV  will serve Vietnam's rapidly growing container traffic and become a major hub for the Asia Pacific region. The SP-PSA International Port will have 2 container wharves measuring 600 meters that will be constructed at Phu My 1 Industrial Park during the first phase of the project, which is valued at US$240 million. The port will be able to receive vessels of up to 80,000DWT with handling capacity of 1.1 million TEUs per year. The second phase of the project will be equal in scale to the first and increase the total handling capacity of the port to 2.2 million TEUs.


  1. The Hutchison's SITV Phu My Port JV - Saigon International Terminals Vietnam Ltd (SITV) - between Vietnam's Saigon Trade Investment and Construction Co and Hutchison Ports Mekong Investment is a US$267 million container terminal capable of accommodating vessels of up to 70,000DWT with a total handling capacity expected to total 1.1 million TEUs a year. The port facilities will include 3 berths with a total length of 730 meters and a terminal yard covering 33.7 hectares. The foreign partner is a member of Hutchison Port Group in Hong Kong which holds a 70% stake. Phu My port will be a major deepwater seaport in the gateway port complex.


  1. Saigon Port & A.P. Moller-Maersk Group Port - Located upstream from the Cai Mep International Container Port, the Saigon Port joint venture with Maersk A/S will cost $187 million in investment capital for the construction of 2 wharves. When completed it will have 5 wharves able to upload and download 950,000TEUs per year.


  1. Vinalines-Saigon Port ­SSA International Container Termi­nal (SSIT) - In September 2006 the United States' SSA (Stevedoring Services of America) Marine expressed interest in developing a USD$282 million terminal covering 60.5 hectares of land with 600m of berth frontage, able to receive con­tainer ships of up to 160,000 DWT and handle 1.57 million tons of cargo a year. SSA Marine proposed the establishment of a joint venture with the Saigon Port company, the SP-SSA International Container Ter­minal at Cai Mep. Ho Chi Minh City container traffic is currently 2.2 million TEUs per year and growing at an average annual rate of 20%. SSA Marine, a subsidiary of Carrix Inc, one of the largest US owned, and the largest pri­vately held, container terminal operator and cargo handling com­panies in the world, handling approximately 22 million contain­er TEUs per year.


  1. Hoa Sen-Gemadept Logistics Port – In early 2008 the forwarding firm Gemadept Corporation and steel sheet manufacturer Hoa Sen Group announced a plan to jointly develop a logistics and port project at a cost of around USD$62 million. Under a deal Gemadept, which is listed in HCM City, will hold a 51% stake in the Hoa Sen-Gemadept Logis­tics and International Port Corpo­ration, and Hoa Seri 45%. The 55 hectare project in the Cai Mep-Thi Vii Port area is planned to include a 7 hectare port with a 300m berth designed to handle vessels of up to 50,000 tonnes. The logistics facilities will in­clude an inland customs depot and warehouses. The first phase will be completed and begin operation in 2010 with an annual cargo handling capacity of two million tonnes. Construction of the second phase, which will increase the ca­pacity to four million tonnes, will begin soon after.


  1. Cai Mep Ha VTS Port – In late 2008 a Korean consortium of Byuksan, Posco, Han Hwa and Korea Express signed an agreement with Vung Tau Shipyard Company (VTS) to develop the USD$450 million container port. Thi Vai International Port was licenced in 1997 as a JV between Vung Tau Shipping and Service Company, Vietnam Steel Corporation and Japan's Kyoei Steel Company with total investment capital of USD$56 million but failed to get off the ground as a result of internal disagreements.


The investors said that the unclear schedule for road construction to the new ports, as well as dredging access channels, was causing huge difficulties. Investors are mainly concerned about the proposed Ho Chi Minh City Long Thanh highway and new Bien Hoa-Vung Tau highway. The Phu My bridge completion and the plan for dredging the entire access channel to the terminals to a uniform minimum depth of 14 metres is also behind schedule. Some investors had expressed interest in building landslide infrastructure projects but they could not because the government had signed an agreement with the Japanese Government for using ODA which was falling behind schedule. Adequate landsite infrastructure as well as channel access are fundamentally important to these port projects. Kyoei Steel holds a 52% stake in Thi Vai International Port Company.



Ben Dinh-Sao Mai Port - In 2006 Vinalines inked a cooperation agreement with PetroVietnam for developing a complex of port, oil and gas services in Ben Dinh-Sao Mai area in the southern coast prov­ince of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. According to the plan, Ben Dinh-Sao Mai port requires US$637 million and should have annual throughput of25-50 million tons.



In late 2007 the PM urged the People’s Committee of Ba Ria–Vung Tau to revoke the licenceds for the long delayed : -



  1. Petec Port - The Petec Trading and Investment Corporation got approval for developing the 36 hectare port specialized in LPG and condensate in 2002. The port will have a 500 meter long pier and is designed to accommodate tankers of 70,000DWT.


  1. Thi Vai Port - The Thi Vai International Port company was licensed to develop a multi-purpose port covering 41 hectares in Phu My 1 Industrial Zone with total investment of US$56 million in 1997. With a 680 meter pier, the port would be able to handle ships of 30,000DWT. Thi Vai Steel Handling Port – An alliance between Japan Kyoei Steel (registered to contribute 52% of capital), VNSteel (22.4%) and Vung Tau Ship (25.6%). In its initial plan, the port would have been able to accommodate vessels that would transport raw material to and steel from the Vina Kyoei Steel (VKS) venture located nearby. Located in the Phu My 1 Industrial Park, VKS was established in January 1994 as a joint venture between Kyoei Steel Ltd. (45%), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (9%) and Itochu Corporation (6%) of Japan, with domestic partner VNSteel (40%). VKS began commercial operations in January, 1996 and now produces steel bars and wire rods with an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes. The head of VNSteel's Planning and Investment Department said that the Thi Vai pro­ject had been delayed for a decade as a result of internal disagree­ments. A shortage of funds was an additional issue. VNSteel now wants to revive the project in partnership with the Viet­nam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines. VNSteel is currently oper­ating 3 steel mills with 1 under construc­tion in Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Additionally 6 domestic and foreign-invested steel factories are either operating or being built in the steel manufacturing hub, including Korean firm Posco's USD$1.1 billion plant.


Can Gio Port


In late 2007 the HCMC government decided to delay a plan for building a container terminal along the Soai Rap River in Can Gio District, denting hopes by many local and international developers who wanted to invest in the exten­sive complex comprising a port, a shipbuilding area and water-traffic services spanning 150 hectares on the left bank of the river in Can Gio. The city's decision took into consideration the pos­sible impacts of the port project on Can Gio's environ­ment and the ecological sys­tem before setting aside the plan. Furthermore, the port was not including in the central government approved sea­port master plan on developing the so-called Port Group 5, comprising seaports in HCMC, Dong Nai and Ba Ria­ Vung Tau provinces. Several international port developers had ex­pressed an interest in develop­ing the container and multi­ purpose ports along the Soai Rap River in the outlying dis­tricts of Nha Be and Can Gio but will now have to invest in the Hiep Phuoc port-township in Nha Be District.



Hiep Phuoc


In mid 2005 the HCMC government announced a plan to dredge the access channel to 10 meters to scale up a project to build the future Hiep Phuoc Port Com­plex along the Soai Rap River in HCMC's Nha Be District to replace existing seaports in the inner city. The port complex was expanded to 3,600 hectares by enlarging the 2,000 hectare Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone. The additional 1,600 hectare area is for building a port town. In the years to come, the port complex will house new facilities built to replace some existing ports in inner-city areas that would be shut down between now and 2010. The complex will include container ports and multi-purpose ports capable of receiving large ships of up to 50,000dwt. The city government has allowed P&O Ports to co-develop a USD$180 million (1st Phase) container port in the com­plex. The investor has already registered to lease a land plot of 20-30 hectares for 50 years to build the con­tainer terminal. Several projects have been committed to Hiep Phuoc Indus­trial Zone so far, most relating to port and shipping services.



Nhon Trach Shipyard & Lotus Port


In April 2005 the Lotus Joint Venture Company announced plans to build a second port in Nhon Trach on 30 hectares in Phu Huu Ward alongside the Dong Nai River. The joint venture intended to invest more than USD$54million in the new port which has been designed to accommodate vessels from 40,000 to 80,000 tons. Lotus’s other port can only handle ships upto 25,000DWT in District 7 some 4 kilometers away from where the new harbor. Lotus is a 63-37% JV between Vietnam Vietrans International Freight Forwarder and Ukraine's Black Sea Shipping Co or Blasco. The joint venture has invested more USD$19 million in the seaport industry in Vietnam.



Tan Tap


The Soai Rap waterway leading to Saigon Port is about 50 kilometres long. If this waterway is used it helps shorten the distance to Saigon Port by 20% in comparison with Long Tau waterway, which is currently used. If dredged deep enough, it can be navigable for 20,000dwt ships entering Saigon Port. In late 2005, Hutchison of Singapore announced plans to build a USD$150­-200 million port in southern Long An Province for bulk cargo transport called Tan Tap on the Soai Rap River for vessels of 50,000 – 70,000 tons.






Van Phong Bay


Last year, central region ports handled only 3% of the country's total cargo volume so a government plan to invest USD$3.5 billion by 2020 to turn Van Phong Bay in Khanh Hoa into a transhipment hub might lead to inefficiency as Vietnam's central region will not be a major area for cargo movements.



Located in Van Phong Bay in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, Vinalines is planning the $184 million Van Phong port project on 41.5 hectares of submerged land include 2 docks to accommodate container ships ranging from 6,000 to 9,000TEU. Port infrastructure, from loading facilities to management systems, will be built to meet international standards. Transport experts estimated more than US$200 million would be needed for building roads, wharves, bonded warehouses, and power and water supplies for the port in the first stage. Before 2010, the port should have a handling capacity of 1 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) per year. By 2020, the project should have required an estimated US$3.6 billion for a 746 hectare port with 37 large-scale piers and 6 small piers able to handle a total of 17 million TEUs per year.



So far 52 investment projects have been licenced in the Economic Zone of which 24 are foreign companies, with a combined total investment of US$13.4 billion. Major investors including Posco Group from South Korea ($4.5 billion steel project); Temasek Holdings from Singapore; Singapore based SP Chemicals is pondering a US$1.2 billion project; Sumitomo has plans to team up with other Japanese investors to investment some US$15 billion; and South Korea's STX Shipbuilding Co Ltd will develop a US$500-million shipyard covering 300 hectares.



Nhon Hoi


In late 2005 some 10 companies from the HCM City Industrial Parks Association (HIPA) announced that they would cooperate to establish the Saigon-Nhon Hoi Joint Stock Company to develop the USD$3.15 million infrastructure of the 600 hectare Nhon Hoi IP which will be part of the Nhon Hoi Eco­nomic Zone near Quy Nhon City. The company will invest about USD$64 million in Nhon Hoi and will also develop a 200 hectare residential area nearby. The 12,000 hectare Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, has attracted a lot of local and foreign investors, who are interest in IP infrastructure, port and urban development, auto production and shipbuilding.



The Nhon Hoi EZ is near the Quy Nhon Sea Port. In 2006, more than 3 million tonnes of goods was handled at the port. This number, however, was exceeded after the first 8 months of 2007 with an estimate that more than 4 million tonnes of goods would be transported. A new port with a capacity of 12 million tonnes a year is under construction to meet demand.



Dung Quat


Dung Quat Economic Zone is the only IZ in Vietnam directly funded by the government who hope its development will help spur the development of the whole central region. The economic zone now covers 10,300 hectares of Binh Son but in the future it will be expanded to 50,000 hectares of land and water space, including the island district of Ly Son. So far the zone has licenced 125 projects with a total registered investment capital of over USD$8.64 billion. Currently operational projects have account for more than USD$5 billion and the zone is expect­ed to attract a total of USD$10 billion by 2010. In mid 2006 construction began on the Dung Quat deep water port which is only 90 kilometres from international sea routes and has easy access to Chu Lai airport which is just 15 kilometres away. Dung Quat Bay is well protected by breakwaters and up to 19 meters deep so can accommodate vessels of 70,000-80,000DWT.



The Gemadept Dung Quat International Port or General Wharf No1 of the larger Dung Quat Port is being developed by a Joint Stock company comprising the General Forwarding and Agencies Company (Gemadept), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and Quang Ngai's People's. Committee. The Gemadept Dung Quat International Port project has an important significance as it will help speed up the growth of the Dung Quat EZ the social and economic development of the impoverished Central Key Economic Region. The port, with a total investment of more than USD$36m will cover almost 11.6 hectares and its back-up area, another 20 hectares of land. It will be able to receive conventional and container vessels of up to 30,000 DWT. The cargo throughput capacity is planned at 1.5 million tonnes per annum.



Ke Gia


In mid 2007 the People's Committee of Binh Thuan Province ordered the provincial departments of Planning and Investment and transport to concentrate on building the Ke Ga Port on a site of 176 hectares in Tan Thanh commune, Ham Thuan Nam District at a total cost of US$240.6 million, able to receive 50,000DWT ships.





Authorities in the central province have also given approval to the HCM City based Bita's, a consumer goods company, to build a deep-water port costing US$93.7 million for the 1st Phase and USD$146.9 million for the 2nd Phase. The port will be able to handle ships of up to 50,000 dead weight tonnes.



Hoa Tam


The multi-billion Hoa Tam Petrochemical Industrial Park project with investment of Singapore's SP Chemicals is moving closer to reality as the company has signed a deal with Phu Yen Province. The IP can attract an estimated US$11 billion, with US$5 billion of it coming directly from SP Chemicals. Under the company's plan, some US$1.5 billion will be invested in the first phase, from 2009 to 2014, to develop Hoa Tam into a petrochemical industrial zone, including a port for ships of up to 250,000DWT. In this phase, SP will also develop a naphtha cracking petrochemical complex project, which uses the naphtha materials supplied locally or imported, with the capacity of 800,000 tons of ethylene a year. In the second stage through 2024, SP Chemicals will spend US$3.5 billion expanding production capacity while calling for its business partners to invest a further US$6 billion into other petrochemical projects in the IP. The petrochemical IP will be the largest such project in Vietnam. Once completed the IP will generate combined revenue of US$20 billion a year, contributing US$1 billion to the State budget, and create some 15,000 jobs.



Cua Viet


Vietnam's shipbuilding giant Vinashin Group will invest US$200 million to develop a complex comprising a shipyard and a resort in the central province of Quang Tri. Its subsidiary Dung Quat Shipbuilding Industry Corp has been named the owner of the project in Cua Viet Port area with 200 hectares of land in Trieu Phong District for developing Nam Cua Viet shipyard. The shipyard alone will require total investment capital of USD$99.5 million and be able to build huge vessels with a holding capacity of up to 70,000D WT. Its annual capacity will be 10 ships. Dung Quat also plans to sink USD$37 million into the upgrade of the current Cua Vietport into a larger facility able to receive ships of 10,000DWT, instead of smaller ships of 1,000DWT as at present.



Ba Ngoi port


In late 2007 the State ­owned Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) announced that it would invest USD$300 million into construction of Ba Ngoi port in Khanh Hoa. Vinalines plans to build 2 container ports and 1 multi-purpose port to better serve the needs of larger vessels.






Hon Mieu Island port


A deepwater port and accompanying industry, urban and service zone has been proposed in north-eastern Quang Ninh province, in an effort to create incentives for the development of an open economic area. The US$15 billion project, will play a crucial role in fostering trade between Vietnam and China as well as ASEAN countries. It will have a deepwater port, shipyard, steel mill, thermal power plant, oil refinery, tourist park and urban towns. Five major industrial conglomerates are behind the project : Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries, PetroVietnam, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, Halong Investment and Development, Vietnam Post and Telecom, Song Da Corporation and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry. Hon Mieu Island, in Hai Ha district, 50km from Mong Cai is a good location for the development because of its proximity to transport routes and water depth of 20 meters, suitable for a deep seaport. The port is designed to receive large ships of up to 120,000 DWT. It will lay the foundation for developing petrochemical, shipbuilding, power and hospitality industries. The investment capital for the first phase is estimated at US$1.2 billion. Quang Ninh, which is part of the Northern Focal Economic Zone, is located in the heart of two planned economic corridors connecting China's Kunming and Guangxi provinces with the northern provinces. The need for building a new deepwater port in the province is urgent, as the northern port system should be able to handle 100 million tons of cargo per year in 2020.



Cai Lan Port


The ministries of transport and planning and investment have approved a budget of US$6.25 million to dredge the bed of the passage to and from Cai Lan Port in the northern coast province of Quang Ninh. Cai Lan Port is operated by Vinalines and the dredging plan will make it possible for the port to accommodate cargo ships of up to 40,000 DWT.



In 2006 Vinalines signed an agreement with the US based SSA Marine Group to form a US$100 million joint venture to up­grade a container terminal in Quang Ninh Province. The project also aims to expand Cai Lan Port by constructing 2 more piers able to accommodate cargo ships of up to 50,000 DWT.



Pha Rung port complex


Situated in Haiphong, the seaport and shipbuilding complex, covering 260 hectares in the Dinh Vu Economic Zone. The seaport will include 4 wharves with total length of 630 meters while the shipbuilding industrial zone will include a bonded warehouse, a 21 storey office building, industrial plants and other auxiliary facilities. The port has a designed throughput of 7 million tons of goods per year while its 4 wharves should be capable of handling vessels of 20,000DWT and container ships of 1,300-1,500TEUs.



Hai Phong – Dinh Vu


The Lach Huyen­ Hai Phong waterway passage has been open to traffic since the 2nd Phase of the Hai Phong port upgrade project in early 2007 but the access channel needs to be dredged every year due to the constant build­up of sand, mud and alluvium. According to a plan pre­pared by Vinamarine, it needs to dredge around 3.8 million cubic-meters of allu­vium per year at a cost of USD$4.3 to USD$5 million. After completing the 2nd Phase of the Hai Phong port upgrade project, which was financed by Japanese loans, the main terminal and Dinh Vu terminal are now able to receive ships up to 30,000dwt. However, the continued build-up of sand, mud and alluvium in the Lach Huyen Passage blocks ships of more than 10,000dwt from entering the terminals, so cargoes can only be shipped in small ships to and from the port. Haiphong port set a target of handling 12 million tons of cargo in 2007.



Lach Huyen


Covering 1,200 hectares the port will need some US$1.6 billion for infrastructure development and berth construction. The first phase of the project, which is scheduled for 2008-2015, calls for USD$420 million for port facilities and inland infrastructure components. The Lach Huyen port is 23.5 km north east of Haiphong and will be able to receive ships of up to 80,000 DWT. The port is expected to reduce shipments via Haiphong and Cai Lan ports. The Government has allowed the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) to mobilize funds for the first phase of the project. Construction of the first two berths is expected to start soon. Goods from the western areas of China to other places will take an itinerary which is 800 km shorter if they are transited at the Lach Huyen port rather than at the nearest Chinese port. The annual handling capacity of the port will be 4 million tons of cargo in the period of 2010-2015 and the figure increase to 29-40 million tons by 2020. In early 2007 Bel­gium's Zeebrugge Port also expressed interest in invest­ing in the port via a joint venture with Dinh Vu Development Joint Venture Company.



Vung Ang & Son Duong Ports


Vung Ang and Son Duong deepwater ports can accommodate vessels of up to 150,000 dead weight tonnes. Ha Tinh province plans to make Vung Ang Economic Zone an industrial, trading and service city during next 20 years. The project will further develop the current Vung Ang Son Duong port complex into a crucial gateway to the East (South China) Sea, offering access to countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, especially the north-eastern provinces of Thailand and Laos. The ports are 400km south of Hanoi. The region also boasts mineral resources with large titanium deposits accounting for one-third of the country's titanium reserves and manganese mines. The Thach Khe iron mine has more than 554 million tonnes in reserves, with a 62 per cent iron content, while an open cast mine in Vu Quang district possesses more than 10 million tonnes. The two mines represent more than a half of the nation's total iron reserves.



In early 2008 Taiwan's Formosa Heavy Industries announced plans to build the deep-water port and a steel complex at a total cost of USD$1.2 billion. Son Duong port will be able to re­ceive vessels of up to 200,000 dwt. The steel complex will be designed with a production capacity of 15 mil­lion tons per year. Both projects will be located in the Vung Ang Eco­nomic Zone.



Van Don & Hai Ha


A consortium comprises Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group, PetroVietnam, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Lilama, Halong Investment and Development Corporation and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vanashin Group) have announced plans to develop the Van Don and Hai Ha port complex in Quang Ninh province, 100km from Cai Lan seaport and 200km from Haiphong seaport. The two zones are expected to help boost the socio-economic development of the whole northern region. The projects will also help lay the foundation for developing the petrochemical, shipbuilding, power, transportation, and property sectors as well as for tourism. The Hai Ha Economic Zone project, which will require a staggering US$15 billion. The Prime Minister wants the project be a complex comprising of economic zones, a large deepwater port, a shipbuilding zone, a steel mill, a thermo-power plant, an oil refinery, a tourism site and new urban towns. Under the plan, the Hai Ha economic zone will cover 15,000 hectares with a special seaport being 23 meters deep. The port will be able to handle vessels of 200-300,000 DWT while the existing main ports in the north such as Cai Lan and Hai Phong can accommodate ships of 40,000DWT maximum.



Nam Trieu


In late 2007 the Nam Trieu Shipbuilding Industry Corporation with the Ben Kien Shipbuilding In­dustry Company (two subsidiaries of the giant Vinashin Group), from the city port of Haiphong, agreed to develop a numbers of large projects to expand business. Nam Trieu plans to start developing a slipway for build­ing vessels of between 70,000-100,000dwt and a dry dock for repairing vessels of 100,000dwt covering 62 hectares that will be able to load ships of at least 100,000dwt. There are also plans to expand production to the fabrication and repair of large ships up to 300,000dwt.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 March 2009 )
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