HCMC frets about Long An power center
HCMC - A US$5-billion thermo-power center project with a total capacity of 2,800MW to be built in Long An Province has caused anxiety among HCMC authorities who point out that pollution might spread to the city as the project site is in close proximity to the nation’s largest economic center.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is currently collecting comments on selection of a site for the power center, either Long Huu Dong in Can Duoc District or Phuoc Vinh Dong in Can Giuoc District, the latter is separated from HCMC by a river.
Long An Province and relevant agencies prefer Phuoc Vinh Dong in Can Giuoc District. Long An said at a meeting with the ministry that this location is most suitable for the thermal power center as it is well aligned with the province’s master zoning plan.
The Ministry of Transport also opted for this site, which is the only one in the province accessible by vessels of up to 50,000 tons. This idea was also upheld by the General Department of Energy at the meeting.
Meanwhile, HCMC expressed concern that air pollution would affect HCMC since the proposed location is on the right bank of the Soai Rap River, the border between HCMC and Long An.
The HCMC government pointed out high environmental risks from dust emissions, coal fly ash and wastewater discharge, even if high technology might be applied at the coal-fired power center.
Also, the proposed site is located between canals, causing environmental pollution to the Hiep Phuoc port complex that has been zoned to become a Grade-1 urban coastal city. Besides, the project might affect the ecological environment of Can Gio District, which is seen as the green lung of the city.
In addition, the city government noted waterways around the suggested site in Phuoc Vinh Dong Commune in Can Giuoc District are narrow, so construction and operation of such a huge power center there would adversely affect waterborne transport.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said the Long An thermal power center in Phuoc Vinh Dong Commune should take into account environment factors, especially the protection of the aquatic ecosystem.
The Long An power center is included in the national power development master plan up to 2030. The project, currently in the initial stage of site selection and study, is expected to be constructed and put in operation from 2024 with a total capacity of 2,800MW with two power plants, supplying about 17.7 GWh per year to the national grid to help solve power shortages in the south.