Better power access hoped to drive development in southern island hinh anh 1Workers examine electricity facilities (Photo: NVA)

HCM City (VNA) – The island commune of Hon Nghe in Kien Luong district, the southern province of Kien Giang, has been connected with the national grid, a move that is hoped to spur local economic growth.

The project to connect Hon Nghe with the national grid was carried out at a cost of over 140 billion VND (6.2 million USD) by Kien Giang Power Company, an affiliate of the Electricity of Vietnam Group’s Southern Power Corporation (EVN SPC).

It built 16.37km of overhead sea-crossing 22kV line, 9.94km of three-phase line, eight transformer stations, along with other facilities to supply electricity to the 2,229 islanders.

The overhead sea-crossing line to Hon Nghe is the second longest of its kind in Vietnam after the one which links Lai Son, another island commune in Kien Giang, with the national grid.

Expressing joy at the connection, Nguyen My Ngoc, who owns a seafood restaurant in Bai Nam hamlet of Hon Nghe, said electricity from the national grid will greatly help her business.

Nguyen Huu Quy, a hotel owner in Bai Nam, said when he learnt that his island commune was going to be connected with the national grid, he built four more rooms in the hotel as he believes that better electricity access will attract more tourists.

Many other islanders also expect a stable power supply will help them develop ship building and repairing, fishing tool production, fisheries logistics services, aquaculture and tourism.

In the past, the main source of electricity there was diesel generators which had low capacity, 50kW each, and often broke.

EVN SPC said it will continue working to bring power from the mainland to other island communes of Kien Giang, including Tien Hai and Hon Thom, from now to 2018.

Pham Ngoc Le, Deputy General Director of EVN SPC, said the projects to supply island communes of Ha Tien township and Kien Hai and Kien Luong districts of Kien Giang with electricity aims to support the sea-based economy and turn islands into solid bases for the protection of national sovereignty.

It also helps protect the environment, attract investment and drives economic growth, he added.

The EVN SPC marked the official inauguration of the electricity supply projects to the communes at a ceremony on January 20.

 According to the EVN SPC, the three projects had a combined investment of 652 billion VND (28.68 million USD), sourced from the Government’s Programme 2081 on power supply for rural, mountainous areas and islands from 2013-2020.-VNA