A new resettlement area in Muong Lay district in the northern province of Dien Bien. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has approved two road construction projects, and has granted more than 629 billion VND (27 million USD) for the resettlement process under the Son La Hydropower Plant Project.

One of the two roads to be built will connect the districts of Muong Lay and Nam Nhun in the northern Dien Bien province. The other construction work will upgrade the northern Son La province's provincial highway 107 that links Chieng Pac commune and Phieng Lanh town.

The road projects are expected to improve transport links in resettlement areas of people who gave up their homes voluntarily for the construction of the Son La Hydro Power Plant, the largest project in Southeast Asia.

The plant became operational on December 23, 2012, after seven years of construction, and three years earlier than scheduled. With a total investment of 60 trillion VND (approximately 2.85 billion USD), the 2,400MW Son La Hydropower Plant has six generators. Every year, it will create a turnover of 500 million USD and save more than five million tonnes of coal, needed to produce an equivalent amount of electricity. Moreover, the plant will supply on average 10.2 billion kWh a year to the national grid.

About 20,340 ethnic households in Dien Bien, Son La and Lai Chau provinces voluntarily moved to other areas, giving up their land for the construction of the plant.

Under the resettlement project approved by Prime Minister in 2013, there are 78 resettlement areas. As of last August, more than 40,000 affected households and 232 organisations were given a total of 7 trillion VND (311 million USD) as compensation.

The newly approved 629-billion VND fund is expected to fill the funding shortage so that the resettlement project can be completed by the end of this year.-VNA