15/09/2014 16:19 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Mekong Delta develops river routes

Can Tho, September 15 (VNA)- A number of waterway projects are being carried out in the Mekong Delta in a bid to enhance the region’s transport capacity, lower transportation costs, reduce the burden on overland routes, and improve the region’s links with Ho Chi Minh City in the near future.

According to the Steering Committee for the Southwestern region , between now and 2015 essential routes will be constructed along the Cho Gao Channel (Tien Giang, Long An provinces) while the waterway system on the Ham Luong River that connects Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Dong Thap Muoi and Long Xuyen will be upgraded.

Can Tho Port will be expanded to handle 650,000 tonnes of cargo each year and welcome vessels of up to 10,000 tonnes.

Cai Nui port in Can Tho city is being constructed with a total of four wharfs to accommodate 2.3-2.5 million tonnes of goods per year. Meanwhile, An Thoi Port in Phu Quoc island district (Kien Giang province) will serve 5,000 tonne-ships upon its completion.

The construction of a 40-km waterway in the region is already underway, which is expected to enable 10,000-20,000 deadweight tonnage ships to traverse the region’s waters.

Between 2016-2020, internal waterway passages from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau and Kien Luong (Kien Giang province), and Moc Hoa (Long An) to Ha Tien (Kien Giang) will be also be established.

In addition, several river ports, such as Tan Chau and Binh Long (An Giang), Tac Cau (Kien Giang) and Song Doc (Ca Mau) will also be built and upgraded.

The region’s import-export cargo volume is approximately 15 million tonnes per year. However, its two largest seaports, Can Tho and Cai Cui, are only capable of accommodating vessels of 3,000-5,000 tonnes, enabling the river and seaport systems to process a mere 20 percent of the region’s cargo volume.

70- 80 percent of the region’s cargo must go through the ports in Ho Chi Minh City, which is causing serious transportation bottlenecks. Moreover, the longer distance increases transport costs and time.

The Mekong Delta region comprises 12 provinces and a centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000km2 and a population of 18 million. It is the country’s largest granary and a major aquaculture region.