10:56 | 18/11/2016 Industry
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has said it will remove 471 small and cascade hydropower plants from its master plan and reject another 213 potential projects over environmental and efficiency concerns.
Hundreds of small hydropower plants have been scrapped
The decision came after a three-year review conducted in collaboration with authorities of provinces where hydropower projects had been planned.
According to the MOIT, the eight scrapped cascade hydropower projects, namely Pa Ma, Huoi Tao, Song Giang, Duc Xuyen, Dong Nai 6, Dong Nai 6A, Ta Lai and Ngoc Dinh have a combined capacity of 655 megawatts.
The other 463 small hydropower projects, defined by the MOIT as those generating 30 megawatts or less, have a total capacity of 1,404 megawatts.
Vietnam currently has 306 hydropower plants in operation generating a total of nearly 15,500 megawatts while another 193 projects (5,663 megawatts) are under construction and 245 (3,006 megawatts) are going through investment phases.
The MOIT has asked five provinces in the Central Highlands and adjacent provinces to stop pursuing any hydropower projects that encroach on forest land.
Meanwhile, the owners of projects that are currently under construction or have already put into operation are required to fulfil their reforestation pledges and forest environment service payment obligations, otherwise they will be forced to stop construction or risk having their licences revoked.
The ministry also urged local authorities to increase oversight to ensure hydropower construction does not take advantage of lopping trees and transporting cut wood illegally./.