DP World has welcomed the first vessel to transit its new Soai Rap River channel leading to its Saigon Premier Container Terminal (SPCT) in Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam.
In what the Dubai-based operator heralds as a ‘significant milestone’, the MSC Xutra Bhum, with a capacity of 2,378 TEU, safely navigated the new 54-kilometre channel leading to the terminal, where a special ceremony was held to mark the historic occasion.
The opening of the new Soai Rap channel makes SPCT the deepest Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC) port. With its 9.5 metre draft, and tidal rise of up to 3.4 metres, the channel doubles the size of vessels that can access SPCT, allowing Panamax vessels to safely berth just 15 kilometres from the city.
SPCT can now handle vessels of 50,000 dwt and vessels with a 5,000 TEU capacity. These vessels are expected to start using the channel in coming weeks. There are also no night time restrictions.
“We are delighted to welcome the MSC Xutra Bhum to SPCT using the new Soai Rap channel,” said DP World senior vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific region, Rashid Abdulla.
“The new channel opens new opportunities for Vietnam, more efficiently connecting Hồ Chí Minh City to global markets, which will bring long term benefits to the country and to the community.”
The DP World-operated container terminal, which is located along the western shore of the Soai Rap River on 23 hectares of the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, began operations in October 2009.