Disasters prompt Quang Nam proposal to scrap six hydropower projects

By Dac Thanh   June 23, 2021 | 06:03 pm PT
Disasters prompt Quang Nam proposal to scrap six hydropower projects
A hydropower plant under construction on the Dak Mi River of Quang Nam's Phuoc Son District. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.
Beset with floods and landslides that have wreaked havoc in recent years, the central province of Quang Nam is proposing that six hydropower projects are removed from its current plans.

The provincial People's Committee announced the proposal Wednesday.

Whether the proposal would go through or not would be decided at an upcoming session of the provincial legislature, the People's Council, the committee said.

The six hydropower projects proposed to be scrapped are: A Vuong 4, Song Bung 3, Dak Di 4, A Banh, Cha Val and Dak Pring 2 that would take up more than 371 ha of land, including protective and production forests.

Among these, the Cha Val and Dak Pring 2 projects, both in Nam Giang District, have already been approved for investment.

The 19.2 MW Dak Di 4, which would take up 155 ha of land, including 31.6 ha of production forests, began to be considered for investment back in 2003. But due to numerous delayed deadlines, the investment consideration was scrapped in 2017.

Quang Nam currently has 46 hydropower projects with a total capacity of 1,816 MW in its plans. Of these, 22 have already become operational, eight are under construction, 12 are ready for investment and four are currently being explored.

However, the province has been struck repeatedly by natural disasters that have been severely compounded by hydropower projects. Last October, heavy rains, floods and landslides left 43 people dead, 13 missing and 350 injured. Nearly 5,000 houses were either destroyed or severely damaged. Infrastructure damage along was estimated at around VND11 trillion ($479.5 million).

In December last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested localities to suspend small hydropower projects that have not been invested in. Only projects with non-significant impacts on the environment, residential areas and forests, and which hold economic value should be deployed, the ministry advised.

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