HCMC moots $49 million dredging of Soai Rap River

HCMC wants the Transport Ministry to spend VND1,135 billion ($49 million) over five years to dredge the Soai Rap River and facilitate waterway transportation.

Vietnam, Vietnam biggest city, HCMC, Soai Rap River, HCMC port, HCMC waterway

The average sedimentation volume of the river over the past five years is about two to three million cubic meters each year, and it is necessary to remove sediments and debris from its bed to maintain the depth of navigation channels and ensure safe passage of boats and ships with loading capacities of 30,000 to 50,000 tons, the municipal Department of Transport has said in its proposal to the city administration.

Soai Rap is a distributor of the Saigon and Dong Nai river systems. It flows through HCMC and the provinces of Long An and Tien Giang before reaching the sea.

The department says it would need VND227 billion each year over the next five years for the dredging project, but adds that the transport ministry has to do it because it is currently in charge of transportation on the Soai Rap River.

The city estimates that about 120-150 million tons of goods will be transported per year via the Soai Rap River by 2025 and the revenue generated thus in the 2015-2025 period would range between VND580,000 and 720,400 billion.

The river has been dredged once earlier. A section 54 km (33.5 miles) meters long with a total water surface area of 1,308 hectares (3,232 acres) in HCMC, Long An, and Tien Giang was dredged in 2014.

A 2014 dredging project costing VND2.8 trillion, of which VND624 billion was contributed by HCMC and the rest sourced as official development assistance from Belgium was completed.

In late 2015, HCMC had asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to seek ODA and other funding sources to continue dredging the river, but this was turned down.

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