Compensation issues are causing headaches for the developers of Binh Thuan province’s Ke Ga port, the planned gateway to the Vietnam’s first bauxite and alumina plants.
Disagreement on compensation levels between Binh Thuan People’s Committee and tourism property developers is stalling the construction of the key harbour. Nguyen Ngoc, vice chairman of Binh Thuan People’s Committee, said the provincial authority had failed to handover the cleared site to Vinacomin, the port investor. This had taken the winds out of the project’s sails.
Ke Ga port is designed to serve the import and export operation of Vietnam’s two first bauxite and alumina plants, Tan Rai and Nhan Co, both of which are located in Lam Dong province.
Vinacomin’s initial plans had the group completing construction of Ke Ga this year, in time for the start of operations at the country’s first bauxite plant in Tan Rai.
“The greatest difficulty is site clearance. We are still in negotiations with the coastal resort developers about compensation rates,” said Ngoc. He added the developers were asking more money than the provincial people’s committee could afford.
To build Ke Ga port, Binh Thuan People’s Committee has to give Vinacomin 296 hectares of sea surface and 70ha of land. The land is home to 13 resort projects developed by private companies.
Talks between the local authority and resort developers have been going on since 2008. Ngoc said the local authority was now in the final stages of negotiations with the developers of the Son Lam, Thanh Dat, Thanh Loi and Thai Duong projects. Those projects cover 8ha.
“We are expecting to end the negotiations with these four projects’ developers to allow Vinacomin to break ground for Ke Ga port in April,” Ngoc said. Ke Ga port, once operational, will significantly shorten the timeframes and costs for transporting processed alumina and bauxite from Tan Rai and Nhan Co plants to upload into vessels.
While waiting for Ke Ga port to commence operations, all products from those plants will be transported to Dong Nai province for export. This means a trip of about 300 kilometres. “We understand that the slow pace of [the development] of Ke Ga port will seriously impact on the effective operation of Tan Rai and Nhan Co plants,” said Ngoc.
Vietnam has some of the largest bauxite reserves in the world. These are predicted to total about 11 billion tonnes with the majority found in the Central Highlands region.