Hydropower plant ready for full throttle
HA NOI (VNS)— Son La hydro power plant, the largest power plant in Viet Nam, is expected to officially come into operation next December. All six of its turbines were successfully linked with the national grid last month.
By early this month, the plant provided 11.4 billion kWh to the national grid, adding about VND1.14 trillion (US$55 million) to the State's budget, according to Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN).
Working with the State Steering Committee for the Son La-Lai Chau Hydropower Plant Project early this week, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai urged EVN and agencies to complete work on the plant.
He also asked them to finish designing and implementing new infrastructure in the resettlement area by the end of this year, and to help displaced residents by speeding up the processes of land allocation and land-use certificate granting.
The plant's construction started in 2005 and displaced tens of thousands of people, the largest single resettlement in the country's history.
Up to 10,000 households resettled from the site of the plant have been supported to the tune of VND185 billion (US$8.8 million) to help defray agricultural production expenses, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The fund is reportedly backed by northern Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces which have received the households. Son La took the lead with VND130 billion (nearly $6.3 million).
The ministry said most of the households grew maize, cassava, arrowroot, soy, tea, coffee, and rubber trees, and raised pigs, chicken, buffaloes and cows. They have been resettled about 24,000ha of agricultural land, or 0.82-2.25ha each.
Training has been offered to help the families improve their living standards. Thousands of farmers have attended farm training courses to boost their production.
In addition, about 4,000 households have been shown new methods in planting rubber, which is expected to help them create more jobs and increase incomes.
It was reported that VND14.2 billion ($700,000) had been spent to compensate and resettle households from the plant construction site, reaching 95 per cent of the plan. — VNS