CAN THO – Many provinces in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam are facing a scarcity of construction sand for several key expressway projects.
The government of Soc Trang Province has urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to implement a project to assess natural resources for sea sand exploitation to level the sites of traffic infrastructure and expressway projects in the region due to a shortage of construction sand.
Lam Hoang Nghiep, vice chairman of the province, said in a recent report on the status of the fourth component of the Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang expressway project that the project is running short of sand for ground leveling, posing a high risk of delays.
As such, the provincial government proposed the Ministry of Construction collaborate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to publicize a list of sand mines that meet requirements on quality and quantity and allocate a certain amount for each component of the expressway project.
Regarding sand supplies, Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuong, director of the Tien Giang management board of industrial and civil construction and investment project, said that several national projects would get off the ground in the Mekong Delta. Hence, the need for construction sand is huge and urgent.
However, a majority of projects in the province are often provided with sand from sand mines in other provinces and cities, while the reserves of sand in these localities are running out, said Phuong.
“Therefore, searching for construction sand supplies for projects is tough,” she added.
Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent expert, told The Saigon Times that the results of research showed the flow of sand to the Mekong Delta is blocked by hydropower plants.
A large volume of sand is stuck at hydropower dams, Thien said.
Meanwhile, the demand for construction sand is huge as ground will be broken on a series of expressways, such as Can Tho-Ca Mau and Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang. As such, the solution of using sea sand for traffic projects is logical.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, assessing a source of sea sand for construction is aimed at serving exploitation to meet the need for expressway and traffic infrastructure projects in the Mekong Delta. The project will evaluate the quantity and quality of sand in Soc Trang’s coastal areas to extract one billion cubic meters of sand.
Besides, the project is set to study and find technology solutions for sea sand treatment for construction to ensure the efficiency of natural resources.