Ministry of Industry and Trade: From 2016, no additional planning for small hydropower projects related to natural forests is required

The historic flood from October 6 to 13 just happened in the Central region, especially the Rao Trang 3 Hydropower incident, which was damaged, caused great damage to people and property. This raises questions about small and medium hydropower development in the Central region.

Since 2016, there is no hydropower project taking over natural forests

Answering questions about hydropower planning, especially small and medium hydropower projects at the press conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the afternoon of October 16, 2020, in Hanoi, Mr. Do Duc Quan – Deputy Director of Electricity Department and Renewable Energy (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said that over the past time, the implementation of the Resolution 62/2013 / QH13 of the National Assembly on strengthening the management of planning, construction investment, operation and exploitation Hydropower and the Government’s Resolution 11 / NQ-CP promulgating the Government’s action program to implement the National Assembly’s Resolution No. 62 on strengthening the management of planning, construction investment, and operation. For hydroelectric projects, the Ministry of Industry and Trade together with provinces and localities have reviewed a series of hydropower projects that affect the environment, affect society and forests.

Regular press conference of Ministry of Industry and Trade in October 2020 answers many hot issues

Since 2016 until now, after the Secretariat’s Directive 13 on strengthening the Party’s leadership over forest management, protection and development and Government programs, all projects Smaller related to natural forests are not additionally planned. All additional projects have been scrutinized for forest and land issues.

Mr. Quan informed that in the past, when building hydropower projects, the average area of ​​land occupied was about 4-5 ha / 01 MW. From 2016 up to now, hydropower projects only occupy less than 2 ha of land of all kinds, including the land area of ​​rivers and streams for 1 MW of capacity and not occupy natural forest land. After being directed, investors, local provinces have good awareness to minimize the area of ​​forest land used. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also directs localities from 2017 to date that no power projects below 3 MW will be supplemented as planned.

“From 2016, all projects related to natural forest land must be reported to the Government and approved by the Government to deploy” – Mr. Quan emphasized.

Regarding the warning of hydropower projects, in the past, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment warned that hydropower projects will have impacts such as sedimentation, obstructing the flow, they must be considered before planning. . Particularly in Hue there is a great risk of landslides. Besides, there is the largest rainfall in the country. For example, in nearly a week from October 6 to 12, Hue had heavy rains, from 1,500 to 2,000 mm on average. In many other places, rainfall is even greater such as A Luoi 2,200mm; 2,600mm Bach Ma, with geological risks, has caused serious landslides in the area.

“Last time, when an incident occurred, the Ministry of Industry and Trade promptly sent staff directly to the scene, quickly reported project information, project information from the project to have control. and timely and fastest handling ”- Mr. Do Duc Quan shared.

Hydropower projects ensure proper flood discharge process

Regarding the safe operation of reservoirs, flood regulation of hydropower projects, Mr. To Xuan Bao – Deputy Director of Industrial Safety and Environment Department, said that there are 429 hydropower projects with dams and reservoirs are under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Within the scope of the Ministry’s management, over the past time, the Minister of Industry and Trade has drastically directed the safety of reservoirs, issued a series of documents focusing on assessment, and requested owners investment to ensure reservoir safety issues. Conduct a dam and reservoir safety general inspection and prepare a dam safety status report. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also requested the Departments of Industry and Trade in the area to organize interdisciplinary inspection teams, reporting that the hydropower reservoirs operating throughout the country are safe according to regulations.

Mr. Bao informed that the Prime Minister has issued 11 processes for inter-reservoir operation of 11 river basins in the territory of Vietnam. During the flood season, for reservoirs with flood prevention capacity, it is necessary to regulate the maintenance water quantity to ensure the water level to welcome flood as prescribed. During the operation, the lake owner must monitor the lake water level, the discharge to the lake, forecast the possibility of increasing the lake water level, report to the Provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and the Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee for permission. regulating discharge and regulating water level to welcome flood in order to slow down and reduce floods from upstream to downstream.

During the floods, the Minister of Industry and Trade issued a power to direct the operation of reservoirs to implement flood response solutions, ensure proper operation of the approved process, ensure work safety and downstream. When flooding, hydropower reservoirs must have warnings to residential areas downstream, closely coordinate with local authorities in informing people to limit damage during operation.

During the floods, the Minister of Industry and Trade issued a power to direct the operation of reservoirs to implement flood response solutions, operate in accordance with the approved process, ensure safety downstream. The Steering Committee for natural disaster prevention of the Ministry of Industry and Trade daily also connects to the database of reservoirs to regularly monitor water sources, water levels back to the lake for specific management and timely reports. Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control ”- Mr. Bao said.

During the last 10 days’ rain, the central region was heavily influenced by the storm, causing a huge rainfall. Through monitoring, from October 5 to 12, total rainfall in Ha Tinh and Binh Dinh, in some places, reaches 500mm; Quang Binh has a place reaching 1,200mm; Quang Tri has 1,800mm places; 1,200mm Da Nang; Quang Nam 1,400; Thua Thien Hue has some places reaching 2,000mm. According to the statistics of the whole rainy season in Hue, the amount of water reaches 2009 to 2,127mm, which means that in just 1 week, the rainfall is approximately equal to the whole rainy season, causing flooding in many central regions, greatly affecting the property. This is what happened unexpectedly.

Meanwhile, the central region has a sloping, thin topography with no large lakes like Son La and Hoa Binh like in the North. Most of them are small lakes, regulating water by day, do not have flood control capacity, so when the water comes from upstream over the threshold of overflow to downstream.

Some large lakes such as Quang Tri (30 million m3), Binh Dien (150 million m3), Song Tranh 2 lakes, A Vuong, Huong Dien, A Luoi … all have flood control capacity, are operated according to the Operating Procedure. inter-reservoir.

However, recently, due to heavy rains, the local commanders for flood and storm prevention have directed reservoirs to both discharge water and ensure adequate water volume to catch floods. The process of this water discharge also affects more or less to overcome the consequences of the people in the downstream area when the rain causes.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to coordinate with local ministries and agencies to direct and review issues, especially in response to natural disasters, foresee possible situations. In addition, the Ministry continues to improve the database of dams and reservoirs to serve the management and regular supervision of the operation to ensure safety of dams and downstream. Hydropower is often in remote areas, far from administrative areas, so regular monitoring also faces certain difficulties, so the Ministry of Industry and Trade decided to build a database on that basis to regularly monitor, timely direction – Mr. Bao emphasized.

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