First huge vessel enters HCM City via Soai Rap River - Website Ho Chi Minh City
The 54,000-DWT Northern Genius on May 17 became the first such huge vessel to make its way to Saigon Premier Container Terminal (SPCT) in Ho Chi Minh City via the newly-dredged Soai Rap River, the Saigon Times Daily reported.
Nguyen Le Chon Tam, Deputy General Director of SPCT, said that entering the terminal in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park via Soai Rap helped Northern Genius reduce its travel time by two hours and fuel cost by half compared to the normal itinerary along Long Tau River.
Tam said the operator of a 50,000-DWT vessel would be able to save over 500,000 USD a year if its vessel entered the terminal via Soai Rap, which is much wider and allows navigation at night as well.
Tat Thanh Cang, Director of the HCM City Department of Transport, told the welcome ceremony for Northern Genius that the earlier-than-scheduled completion of the Soai Rap dredging project would help ports in HCM City attract more ships and meet urgent needs of shipping lines.
Five shipping lines have informed SPCT that they would open direct routes connecting HCM City to big foreign markets instead of having to transit at a port in Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia.
Regarding access roads to ports in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, Cang said that the HCM City Department of Transport had submitted to the municipal government a plan to build an overpass at Nguyen Van Linh-Nguyen Huu Tho intersection.
Cang said a plan to upgrade Rach Doi bridge was being mapped out and construction of Road D3 leading to Hiep Phuoc Port was underway. HCM City will develop a network of modern ports, including Tan Cang-Hiep Phuoc scheduled for operation this November and Saigon-Hiep Phuoc in early 2016.
The second phase of a project to dredge 54 kilometers of Soai Rap waterway to a depth of 9.5 metres allows ports along this waterway to handle vessels of 30,000-50,000 DWT. The HCM City government is working on a plan to dredge Soai Rap to make it 12 metres deep so as to receive vessels of 70,000 DWT.
The project has a total investment of nearly 2.8 trillion VND, with Belgium’s ODA loans accounting for over 2 trillion VND and the city’s budget the remainder.