Power plants blamed for worsening flooding

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has ordered two hydropower plants in central Vietnam to take responsibility for violating water discharge regulations and worsening flooding over the last few months.

The power plants, Ba Ha in Phu Yen Province and Ho Ho in Ha Tinh Province, were criticized for not going by standard operating procedures concerning the safety of the plants themselves as well as that of residents in low-lying areas downstream the dam.

The ministry has ordered all people who are involved in the water discharges by the plants to review their responsibility.

Ho Ho Plant in October failed to discharge water properly, causing flooding in Huong Lien District that destroyed farms and roads.

Northern Electricity Development and Investment JSC No. 1 the investor in the plant has not compensated affected residents adequately, the ministry said.

In November, Phu Yen provincial authorities said the reservoir at Ba Ha Power Plant had discharged more water than it was allowed, making it difficult to relocate residents facing the threat of flooding.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said last month that it plans to put an end to small hydropower projects that have serious environmental impacts.

There are 86 small hydropower plants with a capacity of less than 30 megawatts and many of them have caused severe flooding, deputy minister Hoang Quoc Vuong said.

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