Big projects suspended in Quang Nam province
QUANG NAM (VNS)— The Quang Nam People's Committee yesterday decided to stop the development of two hydropower plants and suspend the construction of 17 others after delays had led to problems and mounting frustration in the area.
Le Phuoc Thanh, the chairman of the committee told the Viet Nam News that the decision was made as many projects had stalled and investors were not responding to calls for more progress. The situation caused many difficulties for the socio-economic development of localities and affected the lives of people in the mountainous and remote areas.
He added that work had not begun on some projects, despite them having received licences long ago.
According to the province's planning reports, there are 44 hydropower plant projects with a total capacity of nearly 1,600MW.
Of the 10 large plants set to be built on the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river network, only four have been completed and are operational. They are A Vuong, Song Con 2, Song Tranh 2 and Dak Mi 4. The other six have fallen behind schedule.
Among 34 medium and small-scale plants approved by the province, only seven projects generate power.
The committee had decided to cancel two projects completely; the 0.6MW Bong Mieu plant in Phu Ninh District and the 1MW Ha Ra plant in Nam Giang District, Thanh said.
He requested the provincial Department of Industry and Trade to promptly check on other projects, particularly Dak Mi 2, Dak Mi 3 and Tr'Hy and force their investors to make a commitment of speeding up construction progress and finishing the projects as scheduled. "If investors fail to do so, or do not commit, the projects will be rejected too," he stressed.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment was asked to appraise the level of environmental pollution caused by the construction of the hydropower plants so as to analyse the extent of the problems and suggest resolutions.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will work to ensure that water supply for low-lying areas in the region will be sufficient in both the dry and rainy season, and will re-assess the impact of forest plantation in the area.
Pham Thi Nhu, the deputy chairwoman of the People's Committee of Nam Giang District in which 11 hydropower plants were planned to be built, suggested some medium and small-scale projects be stopped.
She said building the plants had not only narrowed forest areas but also led to public disorder. Opening roads to facilitate the plant construction have accidentally created favourable conditions for illegal gold exploiters to increase their activities, Nhu added.
Nguyen Minh Tuan, the head of the province's sub-department of irrigation, said that small plants did not contribute much to ensuring national energy security while their influence on the environment as well as their negative impact on other living aspects were considerable.
Therefore, small power projects should not be implemented, Tuan said.
Pham Viet Tich, the deputy head of the province's Science and Technology Department, urged the need to study the possibility of a successive dam breach if too many hydropower plants were allowed to be built on one river.
The breach of any dam of the plant system would cause a deluge and the damage would be immeasurable, he stressed. — VNS