A national energy center will open in the Mekong Delta as more and more power plants are being built there.
It is expected that power plants in Mekong Delta will have total electricity capacity of 18,224 MW, or 7.6 times bigger than Son La hydropower plant, the biggest in Southeast Asia (2,400 MW).
These include O Mon 1, with the capacity of 660 MW and output of 3.6 billion kwh per annum, which consumes 1 billion cubic meters of gas, O Mon 2 (720 MW), O Mon 3 (700 MW) and O Mon 4 (720 MW). The Ca Mau gas-fired thermopower plants 1 & 2 have capacity of 1,500 MW.
The Duyen Hai Power Center alone has total capacity of 4,308 MW and investment capital of $5 billion, with three operational plants, namely Duyen Hai 1 (1,245 MW), Duyen Hai 3 (1,245 MW) and expanded Duyen Hai 3 (688 MW). Other projects are under implementation, namely Song Hau (1,200 MW), and the Long Phu, and So-called Trang thermopower center (4,400 MW).
Under the latest national power development plan, there will be 14 coal-fired thermopower plants in Mekong Delta, of which three are in operation. Some coal-fired thermopower projects were added to the plan recently, raising controversy.
Tan Phuoc 1 & 2 in Tien Giang province and Long An, designed to be located near HCMC, are feared to have negative impact on the environment and people’s lives.
Coal-fired power plants
Three big problems are anticipated if developing coal-fired power plants in Mekong Delta, including water pollution, air pollution and negative impact from fly ash & slag.
Scientists say coal-fired plants consume a huge volume of water. The 14 power plants in Mekong Delta would need about 70 million cubic meters of water a day. Meanwhile, hot water from plants would destroy under-water ecosystems, harming the local fishery and aquaculture.
It is estimated that all the plants would consume 64 million tons of coal each year and discharge 16 million tons of ash & slag. How to deal with the big volume of ash & slag remains an unsolved problem.
Dr Tran Huu Hiep, in his article on Tai Chinh Viet Nam, pointed out that green turbines are the best solution to the electricity generation and environmental protection in Mekong Delta.
He emphasized that shifting from using brown to green power is a growing trend all over the world. Vietnam has great potential to develop renewable energy. The production cost of wind power has decreased by 23 percent over the last seven years and will become very competitive by 2020.
According to a report on Vietnamnet