Engineering consultancy DHV has won the contract to improve the navigability on 250 kilometers of the Mekong river in Vietnam.
Apart from the widening and deepening of the river, DHV is also responsible for the construction and restoration of 18 bridges and the construction of a new lock. The project is to be financed by the World Bank.
The project costs amount to about 100 million euros.
The Mekong, which is almost 5,000 kilometers in length, is an important river in Southeast Asia. Its sources lie in China, from where it flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where its delta discharges its waters into the South China Sea.
Currently, many of the bridges spanning the river are too low, and the river is not fit for inland water transportation. Director of Ports and Waterways at DHV Ben Reeskamp said “the project represents a strong boost for the economy. It will result in an important traffic artery on which large ships will be able to navigate and commerce will flourish. Our experience in the Netherlands teaches us that inland water transportation also offers a sustainable alternative to road transportation.”
When the project is completed, the river will be able to accommodate convoys of inland ships of up to 600 tons. DHV is collaborating on the project with two local subcontractors. One of these will concentrate on the bridges—two of which are a few hundred meters long. The other subcontractor will focus on the river’s dredging. “Our office in Vietnam provides an important support in the overall coordination of this mega-project,” said Reeskamp.
The project’s formal client is PMU-Waterways in Vietnam, the local ministry of transport, public works and water management. DHV expects the project to be completed in early 2014.