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Feb 18, 2024 / 13:17

Site clearance is key for 500kV power line

The use of forest land for the transmission line remains the biggest obstacle that various ministries and agencies need to resolve, given the short time available for site clearance.

Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien has urged relevant agencies to complete site clearance for the 500kV Circuit 3 transmission line within the first quarter of this year to ensure the completion of the entire project by June 30, 2024, as ordered by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. 

 Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien at the meeting on February 16. Photos: Khac Kien/The Hanoi Times 

The meeting, held in Hanoi on February 16, was attended by representatives from Vietnam Electricity (EVN), Vietnam Electricity's National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT), relevant ministries and nine localities through which the 519 km line passes.

Nguyen Hong Dien said that the area cleared for power poles accounted for 91% of the total work, but the cleared corridors for the transmission line remained small. It would be difficult for the investor to complete the project on time unless extra efforts are made to speed up the site clearance.

He urged relevant ministries and agencies to actively review the work and thoroughly solve the problems of site clearance, construction, and administrative procedures within February.

“Localities that have not yet handed over the cleared land or completed the work must do so by February 20, and the cleared corridors by March 15, to help the builders move forward," Dien said at the meeting.

He also urged relevant agencies and authorities to facilitate the construction and keep an eye on the contractors to ensure progress.

The 500kV Quang Trach-Pho Noi transmission line will connect the North and the North Central region, stretching from Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Hai Duong and Hung Yen.

The project, with a total investment of VND22.5 trillion (US$917 million), is important for the country's energy security and ensuring sufficient power supply for the North, which has witnessed the blooming of industrial parks in recent years.

In late January, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited construction sites in some northern provinces and worked with local authorities to speed up the project, urging the investor – EVNNPT – to complete the project by the end of June, the summer season when electricity demand peaks. 

 EVN's General Director Nguyen Anh Tuan speaks at the meeting. 

Barriers remain

Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Anh Tuan, General Director of EVN, said the investor and local authorities have worked together to encourage villagers to give up their land for the construction of the transmission line, but some barriers remain unresolved regarding the transfer of forest land, machinery used to build the poles, and the time required for design and construction.

Such a huge amount of work, if not resolved in February, would cause delays in the project, Tuan warned.

To speed up the site clearance, Tuan suggested that the Prime Minister should soon issue supplementary regulations on eligible access to forests to carry out the project and allow the provincial people's committees to decide the use of forest land without reporting to the Prime Minister after some technical adjustment that does not exceed the total land approved.

Representatives of the localities through which the transmission line will pass spoke of difficulties in clearing the sites, attributing the slow progress to administrative procedures related to the transfer of forest land and the temporary construction roads. 

Chairman of EVN's Board of Directors Dang Hoang An said that there is active cooperation between the investor and the localities in handling the cleared land for the construction of the project, but it's difficult for the builders to complete 240 pylons by February 20.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from various ministries, namely the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Transport, and the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprise (CMSC).

EVN requested CMSC to ask the Vietnam Rubber Group to chop down rubber trees in the central province of Ha Tinh to hand over land for the constructors prior to February 20 and the corridors for the construction site before February 29.

So far, Vietnam has the 500kV ultra-high-voltage power transmission line – circuit 1 commissioned in 1994 and circuit 2 became operational in 2005. The circuit 1 has the total length of 1,487km starting from Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant in the north and ending in Ho Chi Minh City. The second one spanning 21 cities and provinces from Ho Chi Minh City through the Central Highlands and connecting the northern region is a 1,596-km line.

The circuit 3, having 1,179 power poles across 211 communes of nine provinces from the North Central region to the North, plays an important role in ensuring enough power supply for economic development, mostly the northern region in the years to come. 

 Overview of the meeting.