|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (centre) looks at a map of the expanded Hòa Bình hydropower plant project. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÒA BÌNH — Construction of the expansion of the Hòa Bình hydropower plant began in the northern mountainous province of Hòa Bình on Sunday with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc attending the ground-breaking ceremony.
Work on the 1,920MW Hòa Bình hydropower plant, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, started in 1979 and it was put into full operation in 1994.
Over the past decades, the plant has been seen as a symbol of not only the sustainable and good friendship between Việt Nam and the former Soviet Union (now Russia) but also of the domestic electricity sector.
Covering an area of 99.62 hectares in Hòa Bình City, the expanded project is invested by the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) with total funding of over VNĐ9.22 trillion (some US$398.9 million), 30 per cent of which is arranged by EVN and the remaining 70 per cent comes from commercial loans without a government guarantee.
It comprises two turbines with a total capacity of 480MW and electricity output of about 488.3 million kWh per year.
The first turbine is scheduled to be put into operation in the third quarter of 2024, and the second will come into service in the last quarter of the year.
Addressing the ceremony, PM Phúc described hydropower projects on the Đà River as a symbol of national industrialisation and modernisation.
He lauded contributions by the power sector to national development, saying 99.3 per cent of rural households have gotten access to electricity, and Việt Nam ranks 27th among 199 countries and territories in the electricity access index.
The expanded project will help to raise the combined capacity of the Hòa Bình, Sơn La and Lai Châu hydropower plants to over 6,000MW, he added.
The government leader asked EVN and relevant units to ensure the progress and quality of the project, and minimise its impact on local residents.
PM Phúc also requested Hòa Bình Province to soon complete the land clearance work and ensure security and safety for the project. — VNS