May 10, 2024 | 19:20 GMT+7

Da Nang's Lien Chieu Port Project Adrift: Vietnam's Ministry of Transport Calls for Urgent Action

Leon Pheek -

Ministry of Transport shows unease as 2025 completion target at risk

Despite the current obstacles, the Lien Chieu Port project continues to garner interest from foreign investors. (Photo source: internet.)
Despite the current obstacles, the Lien Chieu Port project continues to garner interest from foreign investors. (Photo source: internet.)

The Ministry of Transport has issued a stern warning regarding the stagnant progress of the Lien Chieu port project in Da Nang, a development crucial for Vietnam's central coast.

The project, initially slated for completion by November 2025, is facing significant delays due to the absence of an investor for the essential wharf component.

Investor Selection Stalls, Threatening 2025 Operational Target

The Prime Minister had specifically assigned Da Nang's People's Committee with the task of expediting the investor selection process, ensuring transparency and adherence to legal regulations.

The expectation was for port operations to seamlessly integrate with the shared infrastructure, currently under construction and managed by the Da Nang City Priority Infrastructure Investment Project Management Board. This synchronization, however, is now at risk.

A comprehensive assessment by the Ministry of Transport has revealed a looming deadline. Constructing and commissioning the two initial container berths at Lien Chieu, each capable of accommodating 100,000-ton vessels (8,000 TEUs), is projected to take two to three years.

The absence of a swift investor selection jeopardizes the ambitious goal of commencing operations in 2025.

Further complicating matters is Da Nang City's proposal to solicit a one-time investment for the entire port area. While this approach could potentially attract larger investors, it has raised concerns about potential financial risks and the exclusion of smaller players, notably Da Nang Port Joint Stock Company.

Ministry of Transport Offers Recommendations

In light of these challenges, the Ministry of Transport has outlined a series of recommendations to the Da Nang People's Committee. The Ministry urges collaboration with relevant agencies to amend Resolution No. 119/2020, which outlines specific mechanisms and policies for Da Nang's development.

The aim is to streamline the processes governing the construction, investment, and operation of Lien Chieu port.

The Ministry also emphasizes the need to accelerate the approval process for investment policies pertaining to the port area. This would facilitate a smoother investment landscape and potentially attract a wider range of investors.

Furthermore, the Ministry suggests exploring adjustments to the construction timeline for specific components such as breakwaters, shipping channels, and access roads.

This would ensure alignment with the overall investment progress of the port and prevent unnecessary delays.

Additionally, the Ministry stresses the importance of maintaining close coordination with the Vietnam Maritime Administration for continuous support throughout the project's implementation.

This collaborative approach would leverage the expertise and resources of both entities, fostering a more efficient and effective project execution.

Economic Significance and Investment Prospects

The Lien Chieu Port project comprises two main components. The shared infrastructure component, funded by the central and city budgets with a substantial investment of VND 3,462 billion (USD 136.8 million), encompasses breakwaters, shipping channels, and access roads.

The second component, the investment-seeking wharf area, envisions a comprehensive infrastructure network including eight container berths, six general cargo berths, and supporting facilities, with an estimated cost of VND 48,304 billion (USD 1.9 billion).

The significance of this project transcends mere infrastructure development. Upon completion, Lien Chieu port is poised to become an international transshipment hub, propelling the Lien Chieu area into a global trade gateway.

This, in turn, would attract major shipping lines, transport companies, and logistics providers, fostering the establishment of a national seaport and logistics center.

Moreover, the port is expected to generate substantial tax revenue, with projections reaching an impressive VND 25.8 trillion (USD 1.02 billion) annually by 2050.

This financial influx would significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of both the local community and the wider region.

Foreign Investors Express Interest

Despite the current obstacles, the Lien Chieu Port project continues to garner interest from foreign investors. Da Nang Port Joint Stock Company and the joint venture Anh Phat Construction Investment and Trading Corporation - Adani Group (India) have both expressed keen interest in investing in the initial two berths.

Furthermore, Vietnam Maritime Corporation, the majority shareholder of Da Nang Port Joint Stock Company, has established a partnership with Adani to explore a joint venture for broader port investment.

The intervention by the Ministry of Transport underscores the urgency of addressing the project's bottlenecks. The successful completion and operation of Lien Chieu port hold immense potential to reshape Vietnam's maritime trade landscape and drive economic growth in the region.

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