QUANG NAM — Concerns over the safety of people living near the Tranh River Hydropower Plant are continuing as doubts linger over cracks in the plant's dam.
More than 20,000 people live in vulnerable areas downstream of the dam, located in Bac Tra My District, on Tranh River near Provincial Road 616.
Chairman of the Bac Tra My District People's Committee Dang Phong said officials inspected the dam after being alerted to the threat.
"They found there were many cracks causing serious water leaks at the main reservoir of the plant," said Phong.
However, Tran Van Hai, chairman of the managing board of Hydropower Plant No 3, owner of the plant, said any leaks in the dam were actually controlled discharges of water from the reservoir.
"A discharge of 30 litres per second can not influence safety and stability at the reservoir," said Hai.
He said the national appraising council, Electricity of Viet Nam inspectors and local authorities had concluded the Tranh River Plant met all technical and safety requirements.
Not to blame
Hai said water released downstream was controlled and not due to cracks.
Meanwhile, Nguyen The Hung, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Mechanics and Water Resources Association, raised doubts about the quality of the power plant's construction work.
"There are abnormal factors in the plant's construction," said Hung. "In addition, the impact of storms in the area may have weakened the dam."
Hung urged authorities to investigate and solve the problem as soon as possible, as Quang Nam Province experienced storms each year.
Quang Nam Province's People's Committee yesterday asked the managing board of Hydropower Plant No 3 to immediately check and solve the problem at Tranh River No 2 Plant.
The Tranh River Plant has two turbines with a total capacity of 190MW, providing 680 million kWh per year since 2010. — VNS