Households in 31 mountainous communes in northern Lai Chau province on June 19 gained access to electricity as a project to expand and improve the province’s rural power grids started generation.

The generation is part of an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded programme to develop renewable energy, expand and improve power grids in remote rural areas.

The two-phase programme has a total investment of over 948 billion VND (45 million USD), including 30 million USD funded by ADB.

Its first phase is expected to complete later this month, with 5,758 households in Lai Chau province and 7,944 others in Dien Bien province gaining access to electricity.

Once becoming fully operational by the end of 2014, the programme will provide electricity to 14,487 households in 48 communes in eight districts of Dien Bien province and 16,207 households in 53 communes in Lai Chau province’s six district, including Than Uyen, Tan Uyen, Phong Tho, Tam Duong, Sin Ho and Muong Te.

It will help raise the number of families having electricity in Lai Chau province from 61 percent to 79 percent and in Dien Bien from 67.9 percent to 81 percent.-VNA