ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Submarine power cable project starts
Construction of a 15.5km submarine cable connecting the Cham Islands to the national power grid began on Saturday.
The VND485 billion (US$22.7 million) project, which is 85 per cent funded by the State budget, will be built by Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN)'s Central Power Corporation.
The project will also include nearly 30km of lines over the island and six transmission stations.
Chairman of the central Quang Nam provincial people's committee Dinh Van Thu said the project would help boost socio-economic development as well as the country's security and defence of islands and the sea.
About 98 per cent of the province's 1.4 million residents have access to power, but only Cham Island and two districts in the mountainous region have connected to the national grid network so far.
Chairman and General Director of the Central Power Corporation Tran Dinh Nhan said the project was scheduled to be completed in June.
"We are committed to complete the project on June 30, and local islanders can use electricity starting summer," Nhan said at the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday.
The project will provide power to local islanders 24 hours a day and limit emissions from diesel-driven generators on the island.
Islanders currently use power from diesel generators seven hours per day, while renewable energy sources are falling short of demand.
In 2010, a solar power station with a 28KW capacity was built on the island. Although it supplied power to 100 households in Bai Huong Commune and received funds from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), it was unreliable due to a lack of sunlight.
Wind power is also an option, but turbines are only able to power single households with a limited supply.
In 2013, the island was given access to fresh water for the first time when an 80,000 cubic metre reservoir was built to service the island and its eight surrounding islets.
Cham Island was recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009. It welcomes about 100,000 tourists annually, 10 per cent of whom are foreigners.
The Central Power Corporation completed a submarine cable to connect Ly Son Island in the central Quang Ngai Province to the national power grid last year. VNS
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