HCMC hub port a 'breakthrough': expert

By Gia Minh   May 13, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
HCMC hub port a 'breakthrough': expert
An illustration of the Can Gio international hub port in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Portcoast
A $5.4 billion hub port in HCMC's Can Gio District will be a breakthrough for both the southern metropolis and the Mekong Delta, an economic expert said Friday.

Tran Du Lich, an economic expert who is part of the government's advisory committee, said that any delay in the completion of the Can Gio hub port would be a "loss of opportunity" for HCMC and the Mekong Delta.

Authorities plan to build the port, whose main section will span 7 km, on Phu Lao Island at the estuary of the Cai Mep River.

Lich said "prime conditions" existed for commencement of the project and that timely completion of the port would be "a breakthrough, not just for HCMC, but also for the Mekong Delta thanks to its status as a commercial hub."

The Can Gio hub port would work with – not compete against – the Thi Vai-Cai Mep port in the neighboring Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, he said, adding that the project would be the beginning of creating a cohesive port network for the region.

Lich said the greatest challenges to the project will be to ensure the port is both economically effective and environmentally-friendly.

Dinh Ngoc Thang, head of the HCMC customs department, said that 70-80% of all HCMC-bound goods would pass through the new Can Gio hub port once it’s built. This will reduce logistics costs as goods would no longer have to transit through Singapore, which is far more costly.

Le Duy Hiep, head of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association, said the Can Gio hub port would be a motivation for the development of container ships and large logistics centers in Vietnam. However, to make it a hub port of Singapore's caliber, modern technologies and international standards need to be applied, he added.

Previously, Pham Anh Tuan, general director of the Portcoast Consultant Corporation, which is in charge of the Can Gio hub port project, said the proposed location for the port lies on the outskirts of the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve. He said the area has no population and is far enough from the core of the reserve that the biosphere would not be affected by the project.

Construction of the port, expected to cost VND129 trillion ($5.4 billion), will be divided into seven stages. The first stage is expected to be completed in 2024, while the final stage would be completed in 2045. An overpass and more roads would also be built to connect the port with automobile traffic throughout the south.

Deputy chairman of the HCMC People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong said Can Gio District is located between two major estuaries. It is located along a major sea route between other major ports – making it ideal for a port network hub – and meets all conditions necessary for a national-level port to be built there.

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