|The project will supply power to 3,000 islanders based 18km off the coast of Hoi An, and help to boost tourism.— File Photo
HOI AN (VNS) — The central city of Da Nang and Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) planned to connect the Cham Islands to the national power grid this year, according to vice chairman of the city's People's Committee, Nguyen Van Dung.
The project will supply power to 3,000 islanders based 18km off the coast of Hoi An, and help to boost tourism.
"We have been in discussions with EVN and looking for investment from the State Budget to fund the VND390 billion (US$18.6 million) project. EVN will provide 15 per cent of the investment capital, while the remaining funds will come from Quang Nam Province," Dung said.
"The project will provide power for local islanders 24 hours a day and limit emissions from diesel-driven generators on the island, which has been recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO," Dung said.
According to deputy head of the city People's Committee's economic affairs bureau, Do Dinh Pho, islanders currently used power from diesel generators for seven hours per day, while renewable energy sources were falling short of demand.
"The island has built a solar power station with a 28KW capacity that supplies 100 households in Bai Huong Commune. The VND6 billion project, which was sponsored by SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), was built in 2010, but is unreliable due to lack of sunlight," Pho said.
"Wind power is also an option, but turbines are only able to power single households with a limited supply," he said.
Pho added islanders have to pay VND4,500 per kilowatt for the diesel power source, while the State Budget subsidized VND2.4 billion for the price every year.
Meanwhile, a multi-fuel generator project designed to provide power from wind, solar and diesel is still incomplete.
Last year, the island was given access to fresh water for the first time when an 80,000-cubic-metre reservoir was built to provide fresh water for the island and its eight surrounding islets.
Local authorities are also piloting a solar-powered seawater filtration system which, if successful, will provide more freshwater to local peoples.
The city's vice chairman said that environmentally friendly technology solutions such as wind power and solar energy were the area's top priority.
Cham Island was recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009. It welcomes around 100,000 tourists annually, 10 per cent of whom are foreigners. — VNS