A floating dock worth USD11.5 million has been sitting dormant in Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay in the coastal province of Khanh Hoa since 2008, as it has failed to receive approval to be imported to the country.
“We have yet to be able to green-light the import of the Venture Dock 2 floating dock since its owner has failed to complete necessary procedures as required,” said Nguyen Thanh Son, an official from the province’s Customs Agency.
The ill-fated equipment, which is now rusted and severely deteriorated, and has several broken down parts, was purchased from Singapore fours year ago by Ho Chi Minh City-based Long Son Co.
The 166 metre 'Venture Dock 2', capable of loading 12,000 tonnes, arrived in Cam Ranh Bay on August 9, 2008, according to the provincial customs’ file. The floating dock was built in Indonesia in 1999, but was registered as Mongolian nationality despite its Singaporean owner.
“Our file doesn’t show who is the Vietnamese owner of the equipment,” said Son.
“After seeing the floating dock sitting in Cam Ranh Bay for years while no one had ever showed up to complete import procedures, we have had to exert effort to search for that owner.
“It was not until late last April that we found Tran Thi Hien, director of Long Son Co, to work with.”
Hien said Long Son Co bought the equipment at USD11.5 million, under a temporary import and re-export plan.
“We intended to sell it to a foreign partner, but the deal was canceled due to the economic crisis,” she said.
However, according to a document released on April 28, 2011 by the Ba Ngoi Port Customs in Cam Ranh City, the floating dock is under the management of Viet Hai Shipping and Real Properties Corporation (VSP), based in HCMC.
VSP is the successor of the Vinashin Petroleum Investment and Transport JSC, or Shinpetrol, which was established in 2002. The debt-stricken Vinashin held a 40 percent stake of the company, which bought the floating dock for ship repairs.
A chief official from Cam Ranh Shipyard Co Ltd, another subsidiary of Vinashin, said VSP had planned to cooperate with his company to put the Venture Dock 2 floating dock into operation at Cam Ranh shipyard plant in 2010.
“But the People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa Province turned down the plan out of concern for environmental pollution,” he said.
Owners of abandoned dock identified
A subsidiary of beleaguered Vinalines is one of three shareholders of the company that has purchased and left the floating dock dormant in Cam Ranh Bay over the last four years, according to the Khanh Hoa Department of Planning and Investment.
Vinashin Cam Ranh holds a 10 percent stake in the joint-venture Nam Viet Maritime Service JSC, which was licensed for operation on March 19, 2009.
The other two shareholders are the Vinashin Petroleum Investment and Transport JSC, or Shinpetrol, which has been transferred into the Viet Hai Shipping and Real Properties Corporation (VSP); and an individual who holds a 10 percent stake.
In 2010 Nam Viet Co sought permission from the provincial People’s Committee for its implementation of the Cam Ranh ship repairing project.
The project included the purchase of the 'Venture Dock 2' floating dock, which was built in 1999 by Indonesia-based P.T Naninda Mutiara-Batam shipyard.
However, the people’s committee turned down the proposal due to worries over pollution, which put an end to the project.
The 'Venture Dock 2' was imported to Vietnam by Long Son Co, who later sold the facility to Nam Viet Co under a $15.5 million deal.
The ill-fated equipment has been sitting on Cam Ranh Bay since August 2008, and is now rusted and severely deteriorated with several broken down parts.
According to a source close to Tuoi Tre, the contract stipulates that Long Son Co is to be held responsible legally for the floating dock.
Vo Huu Thang, deputy head of the supervising team of Khanh Hoa Customs Agency, said the deal in which the floating dock was sold is under inspection.
“If Long Son Co did sell the floating dock to Nam Viet Co, it will be deemed an illegal deal,” he said.
Image source: Talk Vietnam