The Chàm Islands, located 18km off the coast of Hội An City, was connected to the national power grid today following one year of construction of a 15.5km under-water cable system, at a cost of VNĐ485 billion (US$22.7 million).
Chairman of the Island’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Văn An, told Việt Nam News that the project is a key that is crucial to the island’s future development.
He said Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN)’s Central Power Corporation officially switched on the island’s power from the national grid yesterday, providing 24-hour power for over 2,400 people living in four villages on the island.
“It’s a great milestone for the island and people. We have been eager to have power for years, with the hope for a bright future. The island has been designated a biological tourism island, undertaking a variety of environmentally friendly projects since 2009, and we expect to develop it as a greener island,” An said.
The under-water cable project, which is 85 per cent funded by the State budget and includes nearly 30km of lines throughout the island and six transmission stations, will help boost socio-economic development, as well as the country’s security and defence of its islands and the sea.
Some 98 per cent of the province’s 1.4 million residents have access to power, as Cham Island becomes the newest remote area in the province to be connected to the national grid network.
Chairman and General Director of the Central Power Corporation, Trần Đình Nhân, said the system will provide power to local islanders 24 hours a day, while limiting emissions from diesel-driven generators on the island.
He noted that islanders used power from diesel generators seven hours per day, while renewable energy sources are falling short of demand.
In 2010, a solar power station with a 28KW capacity was built on the island, but it only supplied power to 100 households in Bãi Hương Commune and received funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. However, it was unreliable due to a lack of sunlight.
Wind power is also an option, but turbines only provide power to single households, and then in limited amounts.
In 2013, the island was given access to fresh water for the first time, when an 80,000cu.m reservoir was built to service the island and its eight surrounding smaller islands.
The island chairman said that environmentally friendly technology solutions, such as wind power and solar energy, were the area’s top priority.
Chàm Island was recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009. It welcomes some 100,000 tourists annually, 10 per cent of whom are foreigners.