Billion-dollar project to establish a trans-Asian waterway along the Red River

Billion-dollar project to establish a trans-Asian waterway along the Red River 1

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has just submitted a document to the Prime Minister for approval of the Trans-Asia Waterway Transport and Hydroelectric Project on the Red River.

The 24,500 billion VND waterway and hydroelectric project on the Red River received a lot of attention from public opinion.

The project is proposed to be implemented in the form of a BOO contract (Build – Own – Operate).

The Trans-Asia waterway transport project mentioned above is expected to connect and upgrade two waterway transport routes from Hai Phong – Viet Tri (Phu Tho) to Hanoi – Lach Giang (Nam Dinh).

At the same time, Xuan Thien will build 7 ports along the route: Pho Moi, Apatit, Quy Xa ports (Lao Cai), Van Phu ports (Yen Bai), Ngoc Thap, Co Tiet ports (Phu Tho), Northern ports (Ha

Xuan Thien believes that the super project will open a smooth water transport route between the mountains and the delta, contributing to enhancing exchanges and economic development in the mountainous areas, and reducing overload on the transportation system.

In particular, the investor also emphasized that this project will help increase trade exchanges and import-export transportation between Vietnam and Yunnan (China).

According to cited data, in 2015, import-export turnover from Vietnam – China reached over 45 billion USD, showing that the demand for water transport of goods on this vital traffic route is very large.

Opinions of ministries on the mega waterway project along the Red River

If approved by the Prime Minister, the project will be built in 6 years, from 2016-2021.

The project’s electricity price is expected to be 1,900 VND/kWh, with a roadmap to increase the price over time.

Because the project is large-scale, Xuan Thien proposed to enjoy a series of incentives such as receiving electricity price support from the State to offset transportation fees and fees for management and maintenance of the project (

Toll rates for the route and through the lock are adjusted over time.

One of the notable contents of the project is the construction of hydroelectric plants.

Dozens of hydroelectric plants in the Central region and Central Highlands, including plants with quite large capacity such as Ham Thuan, Buon Tua Srah… have had to operate on a moderate basis or stop generating electricity.

In theory, the construction of hydroelectric plants and dredging of river beds will greatly affect the flow and water flow.

However, in a document submitted to the Government, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that `the water level rise at hydroelectric dam design locations is always lower than the annual flood level, so it rarely causes flooding.`

Regarding investment in water transport, an economic expert commented that this is a trending policy because in the future water transport will be focused on reducing the burden on road traffic.

Commenting on this project, the Ministry of Finance was concerned that hydropower construction requires strict technical and safety requirements, so combining this project with trading ports needs to evaluate the interaction.

Regarding the total investment, the project profile reports a total of 24,510 billion VND, of which the enterprise’s equity capital is 30%, or about 7,353 billion VND, while Xuan Thien only has a charter capital of 1,200 billion VND.

Revenue from electricity sales in the period 2021-2026 is 1,900 VND/KWh and gradually increases in the following years.

Regarding the incentives proposed by Xuan Thien, the Ministry of Finance believes that supporting the specific electricity price mechanism for the project needs further research because according to the Government’s policy, electricity prices are implemented according to the competitive market,

Regarding toll collection on routes, if the project is approved, the Ministry of Finance will appraise and issue a circular on toll rates and non-collectors… Despite an investment of more than 1 billion USD, the Ministry of Finance


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