Last updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019


Pac Ma Hydropower: Efforts for Timely Power Generation

Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018

On March 20, 2016 in Muong Te district, Lai Chau province, construction was commenced on Pac Ma Hydropower Plant invested by Pac Ma Hydropower Joint Stock Company affiliated to Hung Hai Group. This is one of the six largest hydro power plants built by Hung Hai Group in Lai Chau province, and the fourth largest hydropower facility in the province after Lai Chau (1,200 MW), Huoi Quang (520 MW) and Ban Chat (220 MW). After more than a year of construction, the company is now adding efforts to make sure that the facility will be put into operation to generate electricity in the third quarter of 2019, thus turning local potential into a source of national development and livelihood improvement in Lai Chau province.

Situated in Mu Ca and Ka Lang communes, Muong Te district, Lai Chau province, Pac Ma Hydropower project was built on the mainstream of the Da River in the upstream of Lai Chau Hydropower Plant. With the installed capacity of 140 MW and a total investment of VND4,994 billion, the facility is expected to supply 530.07 million kWh of electricity a year. The plant is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2019. When the factory goes into operation, it is expected to make a considerable contribution to Lai Chau province’s budget revenue and help develop infrastructure in remote and isolated areas; create jobs and raise incomes for local people; and boost socioeconomic development of Muong Te district, Lai Chau province and the northwest region.

Mr Tran Quynh Phuong, Director of Pac Ma Hydropower Joint Stock Company, said, the project has gone smoothly since it was deployed thanks to close support and care from local authorities, and support and agreement of local people. Pac Ma Hydropower is also seen as a key project and Hung Hai Group has thus concentrated all its resources such as capital, means, machines, management staff and techniques and strengthened cooperation between the investor and contractors. Moreover, both the investor and contractors have competences and experience in deploying hydropower plants, thus we have many suitable and economical solutions. However, construction in remote areas and poor infrastructure pose certain difficulties. Remarkably, at the beginning of 2017, the project was built without access to electricity grid, forcing the company to use the generators which result in more operating costs. With the active support of Lai Chau Power Company, in August, the power grid was installed but the project still suffered several blackouts due to weak transmission lines. In addition, transportation infrastructure, particularly in the project area, is an obstacle to the transfer of means, equipment and construction materials.

With ongoing efforts for a better outcome, in November 2017, the project completed land compensation for the constructed area. It dug and embanked 1.3 million cubic metres of rock and soil and built camps for contractors. Construction contractors actively built concrete walls and the left bank with a daily volume of 50,000 cubic metres. In the dry season in 2017 and early 2018, the project will regulate water currents to the right bank and fill up upstream dykes to start on energy-line construction. At present, construction works are rhythmically carried out as scheduled on expectations that the project will generate electricity in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Director Phuong added that Pac Ma Hydropower Plant is a key project and the leadership of Hung Hai Group always pays close attention to prioritising all resources and investing in most advanced machinery imported from Europe. Before the interest and expectation of Hung Hai Group and local authorities, Pac Ma Hydropower Joint Stock Company has centrally stepped up the project progress, ensured quality, technology, construction safety and labour safety. However, to deploy the project effectively, the company hopes that Lai Chau province will invest in upgrading the power transmission system, especially the current 35KV power line to ensure stable power supply for the project, which will generate power for the national grid in the future. In addition, the province needs to upgrade 4H Road and some other roads to facilitate construction material transportation as well as help local people to travel more easily.

Hung Hai Group, formerly Hung Hai Co., Ltd established in 1997, is a leading construction and transportation company in Lai Chau province. Over the past two decades, the group has grown steadily in business scale, scope and location to become a multi-business entity. With 12 member companies, the group is engaged in hydropower development, mining, infrastructure construction and commercial service, and generates thousands of jobs.

In Lai Chau province, Hung Hai Group has set a long-term goal: Focusing on developing hydropower projects. The company has gained permission to survey 17 projects and obtained investment licences for six projects. To date, 66-MW Nam Na 2 Hydropower Plant has been put into operation since January 2015. 84-MW Nam Na 3 Hydropower Project, completed in early 2017, is focusing resources to accelerate the progress of Pac Ma Hydropower.

Reportedly, hydropower projects largely affect the natural environment and the construction of hydropower plants usually results in indiscriminate deforestation. However, according to information from Hung Hai Group and Lai Chau authorities, hydropower projects that Hung Hai Group was licensed to survey and invest have low headwater banks and small reservoirs, thus helping minimise impacts on forests.

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