Da Nang to ignore Singapore consultant warning, build new port

By Nguyen Dong   November 20, 2019 | 04:16 am PT
Da Nang to ignore Singapore consultant warning, build new port
Containers at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Vietnam's central city Da Nang has dismissed environmental concerns raised by a Singaporean consultant and is pushing ahead with plans to build a new port.

At a meeting with voters on Tuesday, city Chairman Huynh Duc Tho confirmed that the Lien Chieu Port would be built in Da Nang Bay.

The 220-hectare, VND32.86 trillion ($1.42 billion) port, expected to spearhead Da Nang’s logistics development, will be built below Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam.

Lien Chieu will function as a gateway for cargo while Tien Sa, currently the only port in the city, will become a tourism port.

Da Nang proposed the project in September 2018.

But in November Singaporean consultancy consortium Sakae Corporate Advisory-Surbana Jurong recommended that the city should upgrade Tien Sa Port and not build a new one due to environmental concerns.

Together with the existing 16-meter draught in the Tien Sa canal, the construction of Lien Chieu Port could disrupt water flow in the bay, it said. Besides, a large number of ships arriving in the bay could destroy its ecosystem and "Da Nang Bay could never be the same again," it warned.

The consortium pointed out that the volume of cargo passing through the central region was low, precluding a new port in Da Nang.

But other experts argued that expanding Tien Sa Port would involve national security issues, which could take a long time for the government to review.

Tho said: "The procedures for building the new port have basically been approved by the government. Meanwhile, Tien Sa Port will gradually switch to becoming a tourist and military port."

Tien Sa Port handles 8.6 million tons of cargo per year and the figure is expected to exceed the designed capacity and reach 12 million tons in 2023.

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