Twenty hydropower projects face the axe

Read the original news 

SaigonTimes English - 47 month(s) ago 11 readings

HCMC – Three provinces will likely rescind the licenses of more than 20 hydropower plant projects over concerns about long delays, and serious social and environmental impacts.

By Van Nam - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Three provinces will likely rescind the licenses of more than 20 hydropower plant projects over concerns about long delays, and serious social and environmental impacts.

The Department of Industry and Trade of Quang Nam Province has asked the government of the central province and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to scrap six long-delayed, environmentally harmful hydropower projects.

The northern upland province of Lao Cai and the south central province of Khanh Hoa have also requested the ministry to consider doing away with 17 hydropower projects for fears that they might do harm to society and the environment.

Do Duc Quan, vice director of the ministry’s Energy Department, has confirmed the news about the proposals of the three provinces.

“The ministry is asking provincial authorities to check foot-dragging and unfeasible hydropower projects in the coming time,” Quan told the Daily on the phone on Thursday.

In April last year, based on the reports by provinces, the ministry petitioned the Government to dump 38 hydropower projects and adjust the scale of 35 other projects across the country as they could damage the environment and run counter to provincial economic and social plans.

In December last year, the ministry asked provinces and cities to be watchful for floods, deforestation, agricultural production and reserve land before licensing any hydropower projects.

According to energy experts, a hydropower project needs around nine hectares of land for each megawatt of power, including 2.4 hectares of forest land.

Quan of the energy department said the country has some 890 small and medium hydropower projects approved under the country’s master plan for hydropower development with a total generation capacity of 5,900 MW. However, the number of operational projects and those under construction now is around 100 with a total capacity of 600 MW.

Commenting on the efficiency of hydropower investment, Quan said several developers had complained that the power selling price had remained unattractive while production cost and interest rates had leapt, thus cutting into the profitability of their projects.

At the moment, one kilowatt hour of power generated by a hydropower plant is sold to Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) at some four U.S. cents.

There is no comment

Please Sign up or Login to comment.

Top page