Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vietnam's Dung Quat economic zone to quadruple in size


Dung Quat Oil Refinery in Dung Quat Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Ngai. Plans are underway to quadruple the size of the EZ to 50,000ha. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long

Quang Ngai — Plans are underway to more than quadruple the size of the Dung Quat Economic Zone, in Quang Ngai Province, to 50,000ha.

Tran Le Trung, head of the zone’s management board, said increasing demand, particularly from heavy industry, had prompted Quang Ngai provincial authorities to expand the 10,300ha zone by 39,700ha – 10,000ha of which will take in Ly Son Island.

When completed, the zone will extend to within 40km of Chu Lai Airport and border Quang Ngai City and My Khe beach.

"The management board has set itself the target of attracting $12 billion in investment capital by 2010, of which about half would have been implemented." Trung said.

By 2010, the management board estimates industrial output will be over VND10 trillion ($602 million), of which the export value will be about $200 million.

If everything goes to plan, the zone will contribute to the provincial budget between VND8 trillion to VND10 trillion. As a result, per capita annual income in the province would increase to $1,000, Trung said.

By 2020, it is estimated that the total investment capital would have doubled and that industrial production would be around $30 billion – of which the export turnover would be $15-20 billion.

Investment projects

Up to the beginning of this month, Trung said the zone had attracted 161 projects with a total registered capital of over $10 billion.

So far, 74 per cent of the zone’s west side (491ha out of 665ha) and 76 per cent of the available land on the east side (1,276ha out of 1,668ha) has been occupied, Trung said.

Most of the projects on the east side are large scale, including the Dung Quat oil refinery, which occupies a 316ha site. The refinery is expected to be operational next year. Also on the east is a ship-building yard occupying 250ha, the Doosan factory (114ha) and a series of petrochemical and heavy machinery manufacturing plants.

Trung said many Vietnamese and foreign investors from South Korea, Japan, India, Taiwan, among others, had expressed interest in the zone, which opened in April 1996.

"Good technical and social infrastructure is the key reason for them to come to the Dung Quat economic zone," Trung said.

The zone also has a deep sea water port and good infrastructure – roads, public utilities, as well as telecommunications and health services.

Second deep sea port

Meanwhile, a team from the Viet Nam Institute of Science and Technology led by Truong Dinh Hien has conducted extensive research into the building of a second deep sea port – the My Han port.

According to Hien, the port, which will be twice the size of the Dung Quat port, will meet the growing needs of the enlarged Dung Quat economic zone.

With a natural water depth of 24 metres, the port will be able to receive ships up to 260,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage).

Under the plan, My Han port will be divided into two areas: north and south.

The north will be for large-scale projects, while the south will be for general services.

The port will have a total area of about 1,000ha and a length of 16,700 metres (three times longer than Dung Quat). Warehouses are expected to occupy about 600ha.

"To protect the port from the rough sea, scientists calculate that 7,000 metres of sea-dykes will have to be built at a cost of about $280 million," Hien said.

He added that the money would come from the state budget or from Government-private sector joint investment.

Up to 2015, development would focus mainly on meeting the needs of heavy industry. Construction of commodities’ infrastructure would begin after 2015, Trung said. — VNS