Song Tranh 2 leakage ‘dangerous’
By Van Nam - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The dam leakage at Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant desperately needs to be repaired before this year’s flooding season to prevent a dangerous scenario, according to State Agency for Construction Quality Investigation (SACQI).
The best method to assess the safety of the dam is to check the waterproofing level when it begins to store water but if the leakage remains, it will be extremely perilous at a time when water levels rise during the flooding season by the year-end, Nguyen Van Lien, deputy head of SACQI told the Daily.
Administrators and engineers must collect monitoring data and assess the dam’s deformation and safety every year and the job must go on and on during the lifespan of the dam, Lien said.
At present, the agency is monitoring statistics and watching over the dam’s deformation but its results have yet to be released.
Since the dam leakage at Song Tranh was revealed, the agency has warned other dams must address safety conditions if any unusual data is found.
Le Quang Hung, head of SACQI, told Vietnam Television (VTV) last weekend the agency identified two reasons prompting the leaks on the body of the dam thanks to the assessment of technical engineers and contractors.
The leakage is blamed on a design fault and shortcomings of contractors. Specifically, contractors did not build water-proof joints in the heat vents in the correct position.
Plus, there could be technical faults with the concrete used to build the dam which was not considered in the blueprint.
However, Hung insisted that the dam is still safe, even when leaks discharge water downstream or earthquakes occur in the locality.
Meanwhile, residents in Quang Nam Province are awaiting a suitable explanation from authorities about the dam leakage as they are obviously concerned about the recent developments. They are also questioning the handling of the situation by investors and contractors.
Hung said the agency would make an official announcement about the case by next week after a thorough investigation. A plan to fix the dam leakage will also be revealed by early next week.
Song Tranh 2 has total investment capital of VND5.2 trillion and a designed capacity of 190MW. The plant was built in 2006 and it has officially generated electricity since 2010.
The leakage in the left hand side of the dam was detected recently, with water flow from the reservoir reported at 30 liters a second.
Being the biggest reservoir in the central region, Song Tranh 2’s reservoir can store 730 million cubic meters of water. The reservoir has been built 100 meters higher than the basin areas.