Vietnam's northern Lach Huyen International Seaport mega project is scheduled to get off the ground in 2008, the transport minister said, following his recent approval of its feasibility study.
Ho Nghia Dung, Minister of the Transport last week said the feasibility study for the Hai Phong city-based the Lach Huyen Seaport project would now be submitted on to the government for final say.
The project is estimated to cost VND27 trillion (US$1.6 billion) for infrastructure development and berth construction.
The state budget will earmark funds for initial construction of the Lach Huyen Seaport, while the bulk will be sourced from outside sources, including the foreign private sector.
As planned, the Lach Huyen International Seaport will serve as an international gate seaport and a large transit port for the whole of northern Vietnam.
It is designed to accommodate vessels of between 60,000 and 80,000 TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units) and have annual cargo throughput of between 50 and 60 million tons when in full performance.
The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) - the project's owner is expected to work on the first two berths of the Lach Huyen project and operate both in 2010.
Vinalines has said the port was among the most important projects in the strategic development plan of the country's future maritime industry.
It would turn Hai Phong into a major international transshipment venue as vessels from China's western territories would utilize the port as a convenient transit site, cutting a full 1000km off the nearest Chinese transit points.
Vinalines planned to cooperate with Vietnam Railway Corp. to invest in container trains capable of receiving a huge volume of commodities - around 10 million tons per year from China to Lach Huyen.