Some provinces are seeking approval from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to revoke investment licenses of delayed hydroelectric projects.
Many hydropower projects face slow construction pace
Do Duc Quan, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Energy Department, proposed withdrawing the licenses of six hydropower projects which are facing slow implementation, which are infeasible or would affect environment.
Lao Cai and Khanh Hoa provinces have also recommended the withdrawal of 17 small and medium-sized hydropower projects due to slow construction pace, Quan added.
The ministry is urging localities to continue to pay attention to such projects so that they are able to identify and scrap delayed or infeasible ones, Quan added.
In April 2010, the ministry canceled 38 small and medium-sized hydropower projects and adjusted the scale of 35 which would have had negative environmental impacts.
Small-scale hydroelectric plants have destroyed thousands of hectares of forest in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, said Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade. Hoang cited scientists’ estimates that at least 1,000-2,000 hectares of upper forests must be cleared to have 1,000 hectares of land for building such a plant.
A small to medium-sized hydroelectric power project needs an average area of 9 hectares to generate 1MW of electricity, including 2.4 hectare of forest.
According to statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to date, only 100 out of 890 planned small to medium-sized hydroelectric projects have become operational. Their total capacity is 600MW.