First stage complete at new strategic deepwater port

By    March 17, 2016 | 08:13 pm PT
The first phase of the new port project at Cam Ranh in the central region of Vietnam has been completed and will be capable of receiving large military and civilian vessels.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang attended a ceremony at the port Tuesday, the government said in a statement.

The new port project is separate from the existing military facility, which is Vietnam’s most important naval base in the East Sea. Cam Ranh is also home to its submarine fleet and other key naval vessels.

Once completed, the VND2 trillion (nearly US$89 million) project is expected to become the biggest port facility in Vietnam, and able to handle 18 ships of up to 110,000 DWT at one time.

The port will be capable of receiving 185 vessels each year, and is designed to protect ships against level-eight winds and storms.

The new project is backed by a joint investment from two state-owned companies: Saigon Newport Corp, which has a 75 percent stake, and PetroVietnam which holds the remaining 25 percent.

Sang urged the investors to step up the implementation of the project according to approved plans, the government said, without saying when the project is expected to completed.

Cam Ranh Bay holds a strategic position in the East Sea due to its proximity to international navigation routes and the Spratly Islands where China is building bases on reclaimed islands.

The naval base had been used by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union for military purposes in the past.

China claims sovereignty over most of the East Sea, which is contested by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

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