The Ministry of Transport has approved a bid to lease the Cai Mep-Thi Vai international port in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria–Vung Tau for 30 years, the first bid of its kind.

The Vietnam Maritime Administration said it is looking for qualified operators for both the international terminal and the Thi Vai general cargo terminal.

Two bidding packages for the two ports will take place in the third or fourth quarter this year.
The fixed annual package price is 219.5 million USD for the Cai Mep container port and 130.5 million USD for the Thi Vai general cargo terminal.

The investors would make another payment besides the fixed one, according to the administration. This would change every year, depending on the pre-tax profits of the investors.

This is the minimum price that the investors would have to pay to win the bid.

Nguyen Nhat, chief of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, said the bid is being held to ensure that the ports would be operated by investors with strong financial and professional capacity.

The bid is expected to reduce monopolies, increase competitiveness and improve services. It would create a breakthrough for many seaports in Vietnam , he added.

Nhat said that FDI businesses could also take part in the bid.

Leasing the seaports would help the state recover capital quickly and ease the burden on the State budget, according to Nhat.

The Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex opened in late January after four years of construction. The project, worth 13 trillion VND (613.8 million USD), was financed by Japan 's Official Development Assistance loans and Vietnam 's reciprocal capital.

The Cai Mep terminal consists of two piers of 600 metres in length. It can handle vessels of up to 100,000 DWT and has an annual capacity of around 700,000 TEUs.

The Thi Vai terminal also has two piers, and can handle ships of 50,000 tonnes. It has a capacity of 1.6-2 million tonnes per year.-VNA