Authorities of the southern province of Kien Giang are speeding up efforts to connect the island districts of Phu Quoc and Kien Hai with the national power grid to fuel local development under the national strategy on sea and island economic development by 2020.

The two island districts, part of the UNESCO-recognised Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, boast a great potential in ecotourism. In particular, Phu Quoc island, dubbed a “tourism paradise” in the south-western region, is in need of stable power supply for a new period of development after the inauguration of the Phu Quoc International Airport in December last year.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Prime Minister himself has instructed speeding up a 110 KV undersea cable project from inshore Ha Tien commune to Phu Quoc island.

With a total investment of about 2.4 trillion VND (114 million USD), construction of the 55.8 km cable line with a designed transmission capacity of 131 MVA is expected to start in early 2014 so that the line can become operational in 2015. Currently, the Prysmian Powerlink SRL of Italy, the project’s EPC contractor, is producing cable for the project.

In another move, Kien Giang province has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to consider and propose to the Prime Minister the construction of a power plant fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Phu Quoc invested by the Vietnam National Petroleum Group.

The plant, is expected to replace an earlier plan to build a 200 MW thermo electricity station which is scheduled to begin in 2015.

Currently, pre-feasibility research for the LNG-fuelled power plant has completed, under which it will be built in the form of BOT in two phases: from now until 2020 and from 2020 to 2030.

To bring electricity to Kien Hai island district, the province has hired the Power Engineering Consulting Company No.2 to devise a plan on building a sea-crossing overhead transmission line to bring power to Hon Tre island commune- the district’s administrative centre. The 13 km-long line will be built in 2014 and 2015 at a cost of 60 billion VND (2.8 million USD).

Another commune in Kien Hai, Lai Son island, will have power supply from a solar power plant invested by the Hanoi-based Europe Distribution Joint Stock Company. Depending on the success of this plant, the model may be replicated in An Son and Nam Du island communes.-VNA