Construction of what will be southern Vietnam’s biggest deep-water port should begin in mid-2005, pending government approval. Deputy Minister of Transport, Tran Doan Tho, said a feasibility study for the US$550 million Thi Vai Cai Mep port had gone to Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, and it was hoped work would begin by June 2005 at the latest.
Tho said the need for the port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, about 110 kilometres east of HCM City, was urgent. Tho said it was crucial to complete the first phase by 2008 to replace the Saigon Port, one of the country’s major ports, which handled 12 million tonnes of cargo in 2002.
The new Thi Vai-Cai Mep port would be designed to receive container vessels of 40,000 to 80,000 tonnes, a vast improvement on other ports in HCM City that con only handle ships up to 30,000 tonnes.
The new port system located on the Thi Vai River will also be built with Japan’s official development assistance funding with disbursement to start in 2005.