Vietnam Aims for Sustainable Development of Maritime Economy | Ho Chi Minh City

Phu Loi Island on the map and in reality. (Photo: VNSL)

VNSL informed that the construction site of this US$6 billion mega-port is on the 75-hectare Phu Loi Island (Can Gio district in Ho Chi Minh City) near the Cai estuary. Me p. It is 1 km from the current international terminal Cai Mep – Thi Vai.

The future mega-port will be 7.2 km long, including a 6.8 km main quay and a 1.9 km supply quay. The planned total capacity of this new port will be 15 million TEUs, so it can serve vessels weighing up to 250,000 DWT (or 24,000 TEUs) as well as cargo vessels of 10 000 to 65,000 DWT. It is expected that once approved, the project will complete its first stage in 2027 and all stages in 2040.

Thanks to its favorable location, it will not require additional infrastructure investment to protect against storms.

This future mega-port should serve 80% of the international transhipment goods of MSC customers. The company also plans to shift its cargo transshipment business from Singapore and Malaysia transshipment ports to Vietnam.

Basically, this mega-port will not directly compete with other seaports in the Cai Mep – Thi Vai area. Therefore, this project is a valuable opportunity for the maritime development of HCMC in particular, and Vietnam in general. In the past, the country was going to build such a port in Van Phong Bay, but the project fell short of expectations.

Vietnam aims for sustainable development of maritime economy ảnh 2 Part of the seaport

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport mentioned a proposal by VNSL for an investment project for the aforementioned international container transshipment port in Can Gio district. However, this port does not belong to the Comprehensive Planning for the Development of Vietnamese Seaports from 2021 to 2030, with a vision to 2050, approved by the Prime Minister. Therefore, VNSL has been instructed to conduct further research to add this port into the master plan if necessary.

VNSL is currently working with two consulting organizations, including MSC, to carry out this important study, taking into account the legal issues and economic benefits for investors who have already poured money into the international terminal of Cai Mep – Thi Go. Possible negative influences on the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve should also be considered. With sufficient search results, he will seek permission from the authorities to authorize the appointment or selection of contractors in accordance with the law on tenders.

Over the past few years, Vietnam’s international seaports located in Hai Phong City, Ba Ria Province – Vung Tau and HCMC have witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of containers served. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Transport pointed out that the transshipment activities of goods are still limited.

For example, Cai Mep – Thi Vai International Terminal now only handles a small volume of cargo from Cambodia connected to Vietnam by inland waterway, which is only 5-6% of the total amount of containers serviced. This is not called international transhipment at all.

The fact that MSC wants to shift its international transhipment duties from Singapore and Malaysia to Vietnam may signal a bright future for such activity in the country, said former deputy transport minister Nguyen Van Cong. This will obviously attract other related international companies in the fields of logistics, trade, finance to open their branches here. This, in turn, can significantly boost the transformation of HCMC into a key financial center for the nation and the region.

In particular, when international transhipment routes are formed on both sides of the Cai Mep – Thi Vai estuary, cargo vessels will want to come to the mega-port for service. Economic experts predict that this trend will create a close network for lower logistics costs as well as more employment opportunities for locals as national shipping companies expand, and lucrative investment opportunities for international investors. More importantly, it will improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese seaports, a step closer to achieving the goals of the National Maritime Strategy and socio-economic growth in general.

Former Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Cong also warned that investment in forming such a mega-port requires a proper roadmap that displays synchronous activities with the current Cai Mep – Thi Vai international terminal. In addition, MSC, as an investor, must clearly commit to its freight service objectives: 80% of the goods served in the new port must actually be transhipped internationally.

By Anh Vu, Bich Quyen – Translated by Vien Hong


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