The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang aims to raise the rate of households accessing the national electricity grid to over 98 percent this year, said Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Huynh Van Ganh.

To achieve the target, a project worth 90 billion VND (4.28 million USD) will be implemented to supply power to targeted households, including a substantial number of Khmer ethnic minority families. Kien Giang will install power facilities in nine communes expected to fulfil all 19 criteria in the Government’s new-style rural area building programme this year, he said.

It will also work with the Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) and its Southern Power Corporation to provide the Lai Son island commune in Kien Hai district with power from the mainland An Bien district. Once completed, this project will lay the foundations to link the An Son and Nam Du island communes with the grid.

The province will also survey other offshore communes this year to prepare for the connection of these islands with the national grid, Ganh added.

The official said tens of thousands of households in 13 communes of rural U Minh Thuong district, the border area of Giang Thanh, and Kien Hai’s Hon Tre Island gained access to electricity in mid-February.

All but one of 22 power facilities built in 2014 have become operational, he noted, adding that about 3.03 trillion VND (144.28 million USD) was spent on developing local power networks including 116 kilometres of 110 kV transmission lines, the 110 kV undersea power cable to Phu Quoc island, 115.9 kilometres of medium voltage lines, and 120 kilometres of low voltage lines.

The EVN targets access to electricity for nearly all rural households in Vietnam by 2020. Currently, all districts, over 99 percent of communes, and 98 percent of rural households nationwide have access to electricity.-VNA