|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (M) attends the ceremony to launch operations of Lai Chau hydropower plant in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
LAI CHAU (VNS) — The first 400MW generator of Lai Chau hydropower plant in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau's Nam Hang Commune, started generating power for the national grid yesterday morning.
At the ceremony to launch operations, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the plant is a key national project – along with two other hydropower plants in Lai Chau Province – that aids the nation's development.
He thanked efforts by the investor, the State-owned Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), and over 8,000 technicians, engineers and workers during the nearly five years it took to put the first turbine into operation.
He also highlighted relevant ministries, sectors and agencies' assistance to the EVN during the project construction, as well as local authorities' resettlement of about 8,500 residents in Nam Nhun and Muong Te districts to serve the work.
The Prime Minister also asked investors, contractors and construction units to ensure the safe operation of the first generator in providing stable power, and to continue to put the remaining generators into operation in 2016.
The successful launch of the first generator three months ahead of schedule will allow the entire project to be completed one year earlier than originally planned.
Construction started in January 2011 with a total investment of VND35 trillion (over US$1.5 billion).
The hydropower plant includes three generators with a total capacity of 1,200MW.
The main dam is 137m high, 493m long and was built with compacted concrete.
When all the generators become operational, the plant will supply around 4.6 billion kWh of electricity to the national grid per year.
The plant is the third largest hydropower project that was built along the Da River after the Son La and Hoa Binh hydropower plants.
The full operation of the plant will increase total capacities of hydropower plants along the Da River to 6,500MW, supplying about 25 billion kWh of electricity per year.
In addition to supplying power, the plant will also help to prevent floods during the rainy season and supply water to the Northern plains during the dry season. — VNS