US$1.2mn locally-made water bus launched, ready for Saigon route

A Vietnamese-made express boat has been launched and is expected to be utilized for a river bus route in Ho Chi Minh City.

The 189 Shipbuilding Company under the Ministry of National Defense, in coordination with the Ho Chi Minh City-based GreenlinesDP Company, on Sunday afternoon launched the water bus GreenlinesDP C8, which can carry up to 136 people

The boat was designed and manufactured by engineers from 189 Company at a factory in the northern city of Hai Phong.

The vessel is 25 meters long, seven meters wide and can reach a maximum velocity of 26 nautical miles per hour.

With material and equipment imported from foreign countries, the expenditure to build the ship is about US$1.2 million, one-third of what it costs to import an entire boat.

The design of the speedboat limits vibration and wave generation during its operation, minimizing potential sea-sickness for passengers.

According to Tran Song Hai, general director of GreenlinesDP, this is the third shipbuilding order that the firm has made with 189 Company.

The express boat is expected to be put into operation next month, which will serve the transport of passengers along the river bus route connecting downtown Ho Chi Minh City with outlying Can Gio District, Hai stated.

Each journey will take approximately one hour and 15 minutes, with fare ranging from VND180,000 ($5) to VND200,000 ($9) per passenger, the general director added.

As part of future deals between the two firms, more vessels will be built to facilitate transportation from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao Islands off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and from Phan Thiet City to Phu Quy Island in south-central Vietnam.