Historic 500kV transmission line generates pride

09:12 | 26/07/2019 Energy

(VEN) - Vietnam is marking the 25th anniversary of its first 500kV transmission line, looking back on its role in ensuring national energy security and meeting the country’s socioeconomic development demand.

historic 500kv transmission line generates pride
Ensuring safety for the power line system

Historic feat

Chairman of the Vietnam Electricity National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) Management Board Dang Phan Tuong said that in the early 1990s, Vietnam’s power system was divided into three separate regions. The northern region has abundant power resources, but demand was low. The power in the central region was supplied mainly through the 220kV transmission line from the Hoa Binh hydropower plant over a very long distance, resulting in limited transmission capacity and voltage instability. Meanwhile, the demand for power in the southern region was high but with deficient supply. There were usually power cuts to reduce loads on the power system.

In order to resolve the power supply-demand imbalance, as well as to connect the north and south of the country with an uninterrupted electricity supply, the Party and State decided to build the 500kV north-south transmission line. At that time, this was a historic decision that generated skepticism from both inside and outside the country for many reasons. Skeptics pointed to the country’s economic difficulties, the planned 1,500km length of the 500kV transmission line that was the longest in the world at the time, and the many complicated technical factors involved in such an ambitious project.

However, after only two years of construction, on May 27, 1994, the first 500kV power transmission line was switched on - a virtual miracle considering that it often takes from eight to 10 years to build such a power network, especially in the difficult weather and terrain conditions in Vietnam.

Tuong said the “backbone” of the first 500kV transmission line not only resolved power shortages, it also created a foundation and driving force for socio-economic development in the central and southern provinces. It connected the country’s three regions with an uninterrupted electricity supply, improving the power safety and stability, and creating conditions for optimal exploitation of other power resources.

Succeeding and affirming position

More than 10 years after the start of operations of the 500kV circuit 1, on September 23, 2005, Vietnam’s electricity industry marked another milestone: putting into operation the 1,600 km second circuit of the 500kv power transmission system from Thuong Tin to Phu Lam. The two parallel circuits helped make the power supply system safer and more reliable, contributing more to the country’s socio-economic development achievements.

In 2014, after the success of these two transmission lines, the EVNNPT launched the 500kV Pleiku-My Phuoc-Cau Bong transmission line, which spanned 437.5km and formed a three-500kV power lines connecting the central and southern region. Since December 2018, EVNNPT has also accelerated the construction of the Vung Ang-Quang Trach-Doc Soi-Pleiku 2 transmission lines to ensure sufficient electricity for the south from 2020 on.

While foreign experts were involved in various phases of the 500kV transmission line circuit 1, the 500kV power lines circuit 2 and 3 were installed entirely by Vietnamese engineers. The successful construction and operation of the north-south 500kV power systems circuit 2 and 3 marked an important development of the Vietnam power industry.

Dinh Dung