|Sơn La Hydropower Plant, the largest hydropower plant in Việt Nam and Southeast Asia, will have to open its floodgates to discharge water to ensure safety if necessary. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Chiến|
HÀ NỘI — The Government has established plans to ensure the safety of reservoirs at the Hòa Bình and Sơn La hydroelectric plants, two of the country’s largest, said Trần Quang Hoài, permanent member of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
If the worst-case scenario comes to pass, Hoài said, and the dam of the Hòa Bình Hydroelectricity Plant breaks, the water will be directed to different areas to minimise danger and economic losses.
"According to the plan, we are not allowed to let the Hòa Bình Hydropower Plant’s dam break. It is necessary to actively divide the water and keep the dams safe and ensure the security of the people,” said Hoài.
In developing the inter-lake operation plan, the steering committee aimed not to let the dams break. In response to the floods, the committee built a reasonable flood diversion plan, he said.
Đào Trọng Tứ, director of the Centre for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change, said that it was necessary to examine and assess the safety of all hydropower dams in the whole region, and to work out appropriate safety measures.
Small, medium hydroelectric plant deletion
Over the past three years, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) removed 471 hydroelectric projects, including eight large hydropower projects and 463 small hydropower projects, due to problems with the projects. They also rejected construction plans for 213 others. Of the small hydropower projects in the country, 245 are operating, 162 are under construction and 230 others are under study.
Most of the projects being removed by the MOIT are located in mountainous areas of the central and Central Highlands provinces and were constructed and run by private enterprises.
A review showed that
With mountainous terrain and dense rivers and streams, many northern mountainous provinces set up hydropower plants with the expectation that they would bring economic benefits. However, a series of problems caused by small and medium hydropower projects has resulted in dampened enthusiasm.
Professor Vũ Trọng Hồng, chairman of the Việt Nam Irrigation Association, said that water discharged from small hydroelectric plants is even greater than natural flood waters. Because the plants have small reservoirs, there is little capacity for flood prevention, so when the reservoir fills with water, it must discharge a large quantity of water downstream.
Hòa Bình Hydropower Plant is located in the
Sơn La Hydropower Plant is also on the Đà River in Ít Ong Commune, Mường La District in the