Vietnam revives canal widening plan in Mekong Delta

Thanh Nien News

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Can Tho Port in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho / FILE PHOTO
A plan to enlarge a 46.5-kilometer canal in the Mekong Delta has been revived, and it promises to provide access for large vessels to the Hau, one of the country’s largest rivers.
Expected to be partially completed next year end, the canal will allow ships weighing 10,000-20,000 DWT to reach the Hau from the ocean, Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online newspaper reported on Sunday.
The project was first conceived in 2009 at a cost of around VND5 trillion (US$234.28 million), but was suspended in 2012 due to the economic situation.
It has now been revived with the projected cost nearly doubling.
The newspaper quoted the Vietnam Maritime Administration as saying that 80 percent of the Mekong Delta’s goods have to be moved through ports in Ho Chi Minh City, since the Hau, one of the Mekong's two tributaries in Vietnam, can only be accessed by 5,000-DWT freighters now.
This adds US$170-180 per container to freight cost, the administration said.
More than 30 million tons of goods were imported and exported by the Mekong Delta in 2012, according to official figures.

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