Expensive dock rusts unused at Vietnam port

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 Venture Dock 2, worth US$11.5 million, is rusting as it stands anchored unused at Cam Ranh Bay since 2008.

Port and customs authorities in Khanh Hoa Province, central Vietnam, have said they will not release a floating dock because of several violations

The US$11.5 million Venture Dock 2 was brought from Singapore to Cam Ranh Port in August 2008 by Long Son Sea Transport and Commerce JSC.

In 2009, though it had not finished the import customs papers to prove it is the legitimate owner of the dock, the company sold it to Nam Viet Company for $15.5 million, with plans to develop a shipyard, the Saigon Tiep Thi newspaper reported Wednesday.

But Khanh Hoa authorities rejected the plan on environment pollution concerns, so the dock has been a waste since.

The shipyard project was joined by three firms, including two members of the loss-making state shipbuilder Vinashin, Viet Hai Real Estate and Sea Transport Company, which held 80 percent of the shares, and the Vinashin Cam Ranh shipbuilding company holding 10 percent.

Nam Viet Company is planning on moving the dock elsewhere, as its project has been rejected.

However, Khanh Hoa authorities said they have to keep the dock as several financial problems are unsolved.

Vo Huu Thang, an inspector from Khanh Hoa Customs Department, told Saigon Tiep Thi on a Wednesday report the unit is investigating the dock purchase, which he described as "illegal."

Books at Nha Trang Port Authority also showed the company paid no anchoring fees, which was more than $24,300 as of June 2010.

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