The official operation of the national grid system on Ly Son Island in central Quang Ngai province in September finally met the generation-spanning expectations of islanders and opened an opportunity for making a great breakthrough in the island district’s socioeconomic development, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

The island district has a very important strategic position in terms of national defence, security and economic development. It is not only a key outpost in the eastern belt of the country but also a gateway of the key economic zone in the central region. Therefore, the Party and State are much interested in infrastructure investment for the island district, including the power system.

Deputy Director of the Central Power Corporation Nguyen Thanh said previously, the local islanders only used power from diesel generators for 5-6 hours a day, from 5pm to 11pm. The electricity price was dozens of times higher than that one in the mainland. Activities in agriculture production, storing and processing of seafood relied on generators.

The power supply project for Ly Son island district by underground cables was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on October 14, 2013, with total investment of 678 billion VND, including 8.7km of middle voltage transmission lines in Binh Son district and 26.2km of 22kV undersea cables.

After nearly four months preparing all the necessary conditions, works started on February 24, 2014 including construction of the transmission lines in the air through Binh Son and Ly Son Island. On August 26 undersea cables were laid and after 14 days they were pulled to the island. On September 28, the project was completed and officially put into operation.

Ly Son island district’s Party Committee Secretary Nguyen Thanh said Ly Son's two islands have an area of about 10.4sq.m and are home to 22,000 islanders who earn their livings by catching seafood around Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and growing garlic and onions.

In the district’s GDP structure, fish-breeding and agriculture account for a big proportion while the revenues from trade, tourism and services are not much, partly due to the lack of power.

In the first nine months of this year, the island district attracted around 18,000 tourists, equivalent to the district's tourist numbers in 2013.-VNA