VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): A major Lao business group - PTL Holding Company Limited - (PTLH) is set to assume management of the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province in November, a company representative has said.
The company’s management of the sea trade route will be significant in supporting the Lao government’s effort to transform land-locked Laos to become a land link one and boosting connectivity within the region and beyond.
The government places great importance on the project and convinced the Vietnamese side to agree to Laos assuming a greater role in the seaport.
PTL Holding Company has been granted a concession to enter into a joint venture with its Vietnamese partner to develop and operate the seaport.
Former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and current President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning at PTL Holding Company Limited, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, said the group would assume management of the seaport in November.
The seaport is one of four mega projects under the Lao Logistics Link for which the PTL Holding Company has been given concessions to develop.
The three other projects are a planned 2,000MW coal-fired power plant in central Khammuan province, a planned railway linking Vientiane to the seaport, and the Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP).
Alounkeo revealed the planned management of the seaport during a recent visit to the TDP and VLP by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos, Moohong Im.
The company said the seaport would be an important trade route connecting Laos directly to countries in the region including southern China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Alounkeo told the ambassador that work is proceeding towards the construction of the planned railway, whose feasibility study was supported by the Korean government.
Experts are reviewing the feasibility study of the section of railway connecting Khammuan’s capital of Thakhaek to the seaport.
The review is almost complete and once a detailed design plan has been drawn up, bidding will take place to choose a contractor to build the railway.
“Construction may start early or in the middle of next year,” Alounkeo said.
The Lao Logistics Link is part of the Lao National Logistics Strategy for 2016-2030.
The seaport and the railway are among the mega projects to which the Lao and Vietnamese governments attach great importance as part of both sides’ cooperation.
Leaders of the two neighbours have on several occasions pushed for the realisation of the projects.
President Thongloun Sisoulith and his visiting Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc also referred to the projects during their talks in Vientiane last month, agreeing to push for their implementation.