|Experts and engineers from Doosan Vina check the desalination plant on An Bình Islet, off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province. The water system has resumed operation after maintenance and repair. Photo courtesy Doosan Vina
AN BÌNH ISLET, LÝ SƠN ISLANDS — Clean water supply has been restored for 500 residents living on An Bình Islet, three miles from Lý Sơn Island off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province, after a desalination plant was repaired by experts and engineers from the South Korean heavy industries group (Doosan Vina).
The Reverse Osmosis (RO) water system had suspended operations from July after eight years of operation, while spare parts and accessories were not available for regular maintenance as well as insufficient power supply.
Experts from Doosan Vina said they took a month to repair the system, but they said it needs a regular power source to operate the RO system to supply enough water for islanders.
The RO plant, which was funded by Doosan Vina in 2012 with total US$1 million, could provide 200cu.m of water each day, but it only supplied 20cu.m – 10 per cent of its capacity – each day in recent years due to a lack of maintenance and power.
The islet does not have access to the national grid, and diesel-driven generators can only supply limited power to islanders and visitors.
In 2014, the Lý Sơn Power company proposed the construction of a power cable system to An Bình Islet, with investment of VNĐ130 billion (US$5.6 million), but the project was not approved by the province.
|Local residents living in An Bình Islet off Lý Sơn Islands use clean water from the desalination system. VNS Photo Công Thành
Rainwater tanks mainly supply fresh water to local residents and tourists, but often face shortages during the peak tourist season.
People on An Bình Islet used to buy water from Lý Sơn Islands at a cost of VNĐ120,000 ($5.2) per cubic metre in summer, or even higher at VNĐ220,000 (US$9.7) per cubic metre – 27 times more than the original subsidised price from the desalination plant.
The RO plant could supply enough fresh water for the 500 people on An Bình Islet, but it would become overloaded during the peak tourist season.
In 2017, the HCM City-based SolarBK company debuted a 96 kWp (kilowatt peak for a solar module) solar power system to supply a power for islanders.
An Bình Islet and Lý Sơn islands are designed as the first non-carbon islands in Việt Nam with renewable energy projects using tidal power, solar power-driven stoves and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) in the coming years. — VNS