Vietnam mulls end to flood-causing power plants

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to put an end to small hydropower projects that have serious environmental impacts, an official said Saturday.

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 told a conference in Hanoi.

Vuong said his ministry will ask its energy department to review all small plants and take action to stop inefficient projects.

He has also asked the plants to follow strictly the operating procedures of their reservoirs and to cooperate with local communities and authorities to prevent floods.

Several power plants in the central region, including Ba Ha in Phu Yen Province and A Vuong in Quang Nam Province, have been blamed for worsening flooding and causing huge damages.

Early this month, Phu Yen provincial authorities said the reservoir at Ba Ha Power Plant discharged more water than it was allowed, making it difficult to relocate residents.

But at Saturday's conference, some experts argued that these plants were not completely responsible for the serious flooding.

They said Ba Ha and A Vuong plants, for instance, became operational around two or three years ago while flooding in the central region has been a serious problem for years. 

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