Substandard hydropower plant projects will continue facing Days of Judgment.
Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang last week told the National
Assembly that local authorities had rejected 52 substandard
hydroelectricity projects since the beginning of this year.
“The inspection of many other projects, which are either operational or
under construction and planning, will be continued,” Hoang said.
For example, the plan to build the 135 megawatt/ $178 million Dong Nai 6
and the 106MW/ $142.5 million Dong Nai 6A hydropower plants in southern
Dong Nai province might be stopped if their environmental impact
reports failed to meet local authorities’ requirements, Hoang said.
Locally-owned Duc Long Gia Lai Group, the projects’ investor, submitted
twice reports to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
However, they were slapped down due to environmental protection
requirement shortcomings. The firm will submit the reports to the MoNRE
for a third time next quarter.
“Dong Nai 6 and 6A must not be built as it will take 137 hectares of
Cat Tien National Park and another 144ha of Southern Cat Tien protection
forest,” said Dong Nai’s deputy Truong Van Vo.
Many National Assembly deputies vehemently opposed construction of more
hydropower plants in Vietnam. Their concerns centered on fears of
disasters like landslides, environmental pollution and poverty.
Also the production of 1MW of hydroelectricity resulted in the
destruction of 10ha of forests, which was considered a too expensive
For example, central Quang Nam province’s Department of Natural
Resources and Environment reported that the province’s 43
hydroelectricity projects had been encroaching on 10,000ha of forests.
Specifically, the Song Tranh 2 (190MW) and 3 (62 MW under-construction)
hydropower plants had used 2,600ha of forest, while the 210MW A Vuong
plant had used 1,000ha of forest.
“In central Binh Dinh province, there are even some hydropower projects
with each having capacity of 4MW, but a plant has eaten 70ha of forests
and driven farmers who used to live on such forests into difficulties,”
said Binh Dinh’s deputy Nguyen Thanh Thuy.
“In another case, 40 kilometres of Con River in Binh Dinh province has 11 hydropower plants. Many forests have disappeared.”
National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said hydropower project
inspections would help revise localities’ planning of these projects.
“Any violations will face tough punishments,” Hung said. Deputy Prime
Minister Hoang Trung Hai said the government would continue inspecting
all hydropower projects nationwide.
Under the government’s hydropower planning, there will be 1,097
hydroelectricity projects with total capacity of 24,000MW. At present,
195 projects are now operational with total capacity of 12,000MW, or 36
per cent of Vietnam’s total electricity output. Some 245 projects with
total capacity of 7,000MW are under construction.