City gets nod for river-passage dredging project
By Anh Quan - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – HCMC has received approval from the Prime Minister to execute the second phase of the Soai Rap River dredging project with 70 million euros funded by the Belgian Government and VND624 billion from the city’s reciprocal capital.
The city will borrow 100% of commercial loans worth nearly 55 million euros from the Ministry of Finance. With the preferential loan worth 15 million euros, the city will have to borrow 20% while 80% will be allocated from the State budget.
HCMC will be responsible for paying off all these loans based on its budget revenues.
Tran The Ky, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Transport, said that the department has received all documents from Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Co. (IPC) to continue executing this project in the future. Beside, a management unit for the dredging project has already been set up, he added.
Previously, IPC as the investor withdrew from the project for failing to mobilize capital. The project was then transferred to the city’s transport department.
However, after many bids, the project was unable to attract any investors as it is difficult to recover capital, and thus the city has proposed the Government to use the official development assistance (ODA) to execute the project.
The project will enable large ships to come into Hiep Phuoc Port and help accelerate the progress of replacing inner-city ports along the Saigon River by those in the outskirt areas.
The Soai Rap River dredging project consisting of three phases was kicked off in April 2009. The first phase will dredge to a depth of 9.5 meters for ships having a load of 30,000-50,000 tons while the second and third phase will dredge the river to a depth of 11 and 12 meters respectively for ships with 50,000-70,000 tons and over 70,000 tons.