16:54 | 08/05/2017 Energy
(VEN) - A submarine cable that hooked up Cham Island to the national grid last September has transformed the lives of its 3,000 residents.
Bringing electricity to Cu Lao Cham Island
Cu Lao Cham as the group of eight islands is known, is a UNESCO recognized biosphere reserve. With its tropical beaches and coral reefs, it attracts a large number of tourists, who mostly come on day trips from nearby Hoi An, some 18km away.
Until the advent of electricity, residents would use noisy generators and most did not invest in economic development. All that is changing. “I have bought some refrigerators to preserve foods and make ice, improving the quality of tourist services,” said Tri, the owner of Dan Tri Restaurant on the island.
Many of his neighbors are preparing to purchase electronic household equipment. Those providing tourist services are also thrilled. Duong Thi Anh, a hostel owner, said that without power she could not offer guests air conditioning and most tourists didn’t stay.
“There is electricity now. I have bought air conditioners and water heaters. Although room rates increased from VND150,000 to 250,000 per night, my hostel is often fully booked,” she said.
Besides Anh, other people started to invest in restaurants and tourism services with confidence. Nguyen Thi Ngon worked in island tourism for 30 years. Now she has dared to invest VND350 million to open a restaurant. “Since the power was supplied by the national electricity grid, local people feel less anxious. They are more confident investing in their business, building or repairing their restaurants, houses and electronic equipment to improve tourist service quality,” said Ngon.
The power project was approved in May 2014 by the government and work started on January 9, 2016. It included 15.48km of 22kV submarine cable, 17.214km of a 22kV overhead line, six distribution transformer substations of 22/0.4kV with a 900KVA total capacity, 11km of 0.4kV and auxiliary equipment. The total investment was VND484.815 billion, of which 85 percent was allocated by the state budget and 15 percent by the Central Power Corporation (EVNCPC).
The overhead lines in Hoi An and Cu Lao Cham Island were completed in August 2016. The submarine power cable reached Cu Lao Cham Island on August 30, 2016. EVNCPC finished testing the cable and other equipment on August 31, and started supplies at the beginning of September. Tan Hiep Commune Party Secretary, Tran Tan Dung, said that before the power hookup, the physical and spiritual life of the people in Cu Lao Cham Island was very limited. The project will help improve infrastructure, making a positive impact on people’s lives and narrowing the gap between the mainland and the island, said Dung.
Tan Hiep Commune Party Secretary, Tran Tan Dung, said that with a regular power supply, the number of tourists has
increased. The commune has made tourism development plans to meet demand, while continuing to protest its world-
renowned biosphere reserve.