A view of Lai Chau hydropower plant. VNA/VNS Photo
The plant, located in Nậm Nhùn District of the northwestern province of Lai Châu, consists of three turbines with a total capacity of 1,200 MW, producing 4.67 billion kWh of electricity annually on average. Since its inauguration in late 2016, the plant has generated more than 15.1 billion kWh for the national grid.
Dương Quang Thành, Chairman of the Members Council of the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) group, said at a ceremony held on Monday to announce the classification of the plant, that aside from producing electricity and helping prevent floods in the Red River Delta, the Lai Châu plant also regulates the flow of water to enhance the power generation capacity of other cascade hydropower plants downstream of the Đà River, namely the Sơn La and Hoà Bình plants.
However, its national importance and location in a remote, mountainous and border area have also made the Lai Châu plant vulnerable to security and safety risks and the target of hostile forces and criminal activities. Any incidents threatening its security and safety, especially the reservoir with the high water storage capacity, will directly and seriously affect other hydropower plants, along with economic facilities and communities, in downstream areas.
Due to its special importance to national development, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc issued Decision 419/QD-TTg in April this year to classify the Lai Châu hydropower plant as one of the important works related to national security, Thành said.
The Prime Minister also assigned the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with the ministries of industry and trade, finance and national defence, the Lai Châu provincial People’s Committee, the EVN and relevant agencies to make plans to protect the power facility.
So far, all the three cascade hydropower plants on the Đà River, namely Hoà Bình, Sơn La and Lai Châu, have been recognised as important works related to national security.