The Strategy for Developing Electricity during 2001-20 will hasten industrialisation and modernisation and bring power to all rural households, said the Ministry of Industry.
In the first five years of implementing the strategy, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), has, in addition to Government funds, mobilised finances from domestic and other sources to invest in rural power projects, particularly in mountainous and remote communes.
By September 30, 2005, some 10,500 of the 10,800 communes, wards and towns nationwide had access to the national power grid, accounting for 96.55%, with almost 17mil of the 18.5mil households, or 91.54%, receiving power. But only 89-84% of rural households had access to the grid.
Most of the communes not connected to the grid are located in remote and mountainous regions, home to the country's ethnic minorities. According to the ministry, it was impossible to connect nearly 66 of the 374 communes, having no power supply, to the national grid. To bring power to these communes, the ministry plans to build small hydro and solar power plants along with diesel power stations near these communes.
The country's power strategy was set into motion in August, 2001, when the Government issued a decree pledging financial support for the Rural Electricity I (RE I) project to build low voltage transmission lines and supply power to people living in mountainous regions and border communes.
Three years later, on August 10, 2004, the Government approved the Rural Electricity II (RE II) project, which provides electricity to households for only connection costs to the main transmission lines. The project, being implemented during the 2004-2011 period, had a total investment of US$329.5mil, with the World Bank providing $220mil.
The project RE II, to be carried out in about 1,200 communes in 30 provinces (19 in the north, six in the central region and, five in the south), would provide electricity to 60,000 households and over four million people, the ministry said.
Under the project, the ministry had deployed two models for supplying power to rural areas - through rural electricity management organisations and power supply companies affiliated to the EVN.
Meanwhile, the Government had offered preferential policies to organisations interested in generating or supplying power, including exemption from value added tax (VAT) and lower tariffs on inputs, the ministry added.
Nhan Dan - (27/12/2005)