Hanoi: A stalled dredging project has resumed which will eventually allow ships of up to 20,000 dwt sail down the Mekong delta region. Dredging of 46.5 km of the Hau River and nearby canals has restarted after years of being on hold due to financial constraints. The project is likely to cost twice the original VND5trn earmarked once finished at the end of next year.
According to the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the volume of cargo transported via waterways in the Mekong Delta in 2012 was only 6.6m tons compared to the demand of 30m tons. Up to 80% of import-export cargoes had to transit in Ho Chi Minh City before being shipped to the buyer, since the Hau River waterway only allows for vessels of 5,000 dwt, causing the transport cost to surge by US$170-180 a container. [01/04/14]