Vietnam Navy asked to end dredging at southern military port to prevent erosion

Thanh Nien News

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A barge dredges sand off Phu Quoc Island and transfers it to a giant Singaporean vessel on December 4. Photo credit: D.Khanh/Tuoi Tre A barge dredges sand off Phu Quoc Island and transfers it to a giant Singaporean vessel on December 4. Photo credit: D.Khanh/Tuoi Tre

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Kien Giang Province has requested that the government and the Navy end sand dredging at a military port in Phu Quoc as the activity is starting to cause severe erosion.
A statement from the province authorities said the dredging has caused erosion along one kilometer around the island and there’s a risk that it will continue eating inward.
The Ministry of National Defense gave the Navy an approval to start the dredging in 2010 so that the Navy Zone 5 Port can accommodate large ships. The sand collected has been exported.
The project was suspended once when the government imposed a ban on sand exports, but the construction ministry persuaded deputy prime minister Hoang Trung Hai to treat the project as an exception, according to a Tuoi Tre report.
At least 232,000 tons of sand has been delivered to Singapore, for the price of less than US$1 a ton, while many construction projects are under way on the island and in need of sand, the report said.
Kien Giang authorities said the two companies allowed to dredge sand in the area have never paid excavation royalties to the province.
Doan Van So, the Navy commander in the area, said in a statement to the province that it ended contracts with the two companies last month due to certain violations.
He said the dredging is “necessary and urgent” to serve military activities.
He blamed the erosion on climate change, arguing that that it was not a consequence of the sand dredging.
The Navy Command will have the final say on whether the activity should continue, he said.

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