Construction businesses in Dong Thap and An Giang Provinces in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region are facing a severe shortage of sand supply, which has seriously affected progress of their works.
In recent times, numerous barges have been gathering on the Tien River between the two provinces, waiting for taking sand delivery, as many sand mines with limited reserves have reduced mining output while some expired mining licenses have yet to be renewed, as recorded by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s reporters.
Currently, sand mining activities in Tien and Hau Rivers take place continuously, but supply is still below demand.
The most prominent scene of the sand thirst has been seen in the section of the Tien River spanning An Giang Province’s Tan Cau Town and Dong Thap Province’s Hong Ngu District, where hundreds of barges docked everywhere to wait for receiving sand from sand mining firms.
On the Hau River, in the section that connects Chau Phu and Phu Tan Districts of An Giang Province, two sand excavators continuously operated amid the hot sun at noon to deliver sand to a great deal of barges waiting nearby.
L., who owns a road and bridge construction enterprise in An Giang, told Tuoi Tre that the price of sand has sharply increased as the supply has dropped and many sand miners have suddenly reduced their mining output over the past months.
We have used sand from our suppliers in Dong Thap for years now, so when they cut down supply, we could not find alternative suppliers on time amid the ongoing sand shortage, L. explained.
Many contractors have been rushed to everywhere to seek sand suppliers while their works have been behind schedule, the contractor added.
|Two sand excavators are seen operating on the Hau River in this image. Photo: Buu Dau / Tuoi Tre|
A leader of An Giang Construction JSC said that the company has two licensed mines, of which one on the Tien River has a capacity of 380,000 cubic meters of sand per year, and another on the Hau River but its license has expired and has yet to be approved for extension by the provincial authorities.
“We therefore give priority for providing sand for local key projects and sell a very small amount of sand to the market. As a result, many contractors are facing difficulties in seeking sand supply now,” the leader said.
Warning that Dong Thap has not enough sand for its major projects that are under construction, Tran Tri Quang, deputy chairman of the province’s administration asked agencies concerned to seek solutions for this problem.
The province's sand reserves are limited, and mining operations have reduced year after year in many mines, so sand shortages have occurred.
Vu Van Binh, head of sand mining management division of Dong Thap Building Materials & Construction JSC, said that the company has 16 sand mining licenses on the Tien and Hau Rivers with a total estimated output of six million cubic meters.
Five of these licenses have expired and are not qualified for an extension, so the company has faced a lack of sand for its construction works.
“Recently, Dong Thap Province's Construction Department sent a notice to us saying it need more than three million cubic meters of sand this year, but we now have only 500,000 cubic meters,” Binh said.
If the provincial administration approves of extension of the five expired licenses, the firm will additionally have two million cubic meters of sand for some key projects, Binh stated.
“There is not enough sand for local needs, so we cannot provide sand for buyers outside the province,” Binh explained.