Nearly half of the small-scale hydropower projects included in the National Master Plan for Power Development until 2020 have been cancelled.

The information was made known by the National Assembly's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment in a recent report.

The Committee, which supervises implementation of policies and laws on hydropower development, said that by May at least 51,000 hectares of forested land had been used for construction of hydropower projects across the country.

However, only 1,061 hectares, or 2.08 percent of that land has been planted with new trees.

The master plan for power development included 1,108 small-scale hydropower projects.

Most of the rejected projects offered lower profits and were not able to attract attention from investors, according to the report.

NA deputy Truong Van Vo proposed that the Government withdraw the planned hydropower projects 6 and 6A in southern Dong Nai province from the national master plan.

In reply to this proposal, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said that the two projects had not been approved by the Government.

He added that the investors of these projects had sent reports on these projects’ environmental impact to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and only with approval from the ministry could the projects proceed.

"If these projects have a great impact on the environment, we will then ask relevant authorities to stop them," Hoang was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying.

By 2020, the total output of Vietnam's power plants will amount to 75,000 MW, including 48 percent from thermal power plants and 25.5 percent from hydro-power plants, according to the National Master Plan for Power Development until 2020 with a vision to 2030.-VNA