The two 750m-long wharves in the component will sit on an area of 40ha each and cost a total of US$321 million.
Once completed in 2018, the terminal will become the first deep-water port in the north, capable of receiving vessels up to 100,000 DWT.
It is also expected to be a major point connecting with international deep-water ports at Cai Mep-Thi Vai, making it easier for Vietnamese goods to navigate European and American markets.
Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded the Saigon Newport Corporation, the Japanese Molnykit company and the Haiphong international container port company for launching the project as scheduled.
He also thanked the Japanese government for providing support for Molnykit throughout the process.
Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Fukada Hiroshi hailed the project as a symbol of Vietnam-Japan ties and a pilot one in infrastructure in the form of public-private partnership.
In order to put the port into operation in 2018, the PM asked investors, contractors and relevant units to seriously comply with commitments in the contract in line with the law, ensuring the progress and quality of the project.