Approval of environmental impact assessment report – a crucial step in building ChaVal hydropower plant
On 19/6/2019, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) issued the decision for approval of environmental impact assessment report (EIA) of ChaVal hydropower plant project. This is a crucial step which solves the protracted crux of the project and paves the way for implementation of the project as assigned by EVNCPC.
Taking water sample at the project site for making the EIA report
The ChaVal hydropower plant project has a capacity of 7MW located at Cha Val commune, La Dee commune of Nam Giang district, Quang Nam province. This project was formerly assigned to Central Grid Company, now known as Central Power Service Company, for investment and implementation by EVNCPC. Then, project management task was handed over to CPCNPMU (at the decision 11992/QD-EVNCPC dated 28/12/2018). In spite of a long implementation time, there was no progress in preparing procedure for project implementation due to unsolved issues arising from appraisal and approval step of EIA report.
Right after the assignment, CPCNPMU held meetings for reviewing all investment procedures of the project and defined the biggest issue at that period was that EIA report of the project had not been approved by MONRE, hence the approval for feasibility study of the project was also pending. Knowing that this is a crux of the whole project, CPCNPMU cooperated with relevant stakeholders to find a solution to 02 remaining issues of EIA report as required by MONRE (at document 6886/BTNMT-TCMT dated 18/12/2018). The first is to review and re-confirm impact of the project on forest, especially natural forest because the project was confirmed long time ago (since 2016) so there may be substantial changes in the forest status. The second is to check and re-confirm impact of the project on Song Thanh Nature Reserve.
To solve the above-mentioned issues, CPCNPMU was proactive in cooperating with the provincial People’s Committee and relevant Department, especially Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). After receiving the comments from Quang Nam People’s Committee, as well as guidance from EVNCPC on inspecting and evaluating forest status, CPCNPMU hurried to complete necessary procedures for signing contract with a consultancy to proceed with inspection and evaluation of forest status and use of project land; to coordinate a site visit with relevant authorities for inspection, evaluation of actual forest status which would form a basic for DARD to appraise and approve. Apart from that, CPCNPMU also worked with DARD and Song Thanh Nature Reserve to re-confirm impact of the project on the area. Right after receiving the report of DARD on the fact that ChaVal hydropower plant has no impact on natural forest and does not occupy land of Song Thanh Nature Reserve, CPCNPMU hurried to cooperate with the consultancy in revising, completing and submitting the EIA report to MONRE for review and approval.
With incessant endeavor and good responsibility of Hydropower Plant Management Division and CPCNPMU’s leaders, MONRE issued the decision 1524/QD-BTNMT dated 19/6/2019 regarding the approval for EIA report of the project. The is an important milestone in preparing investment procedure of the project, a compulsory requirement before approving the feasibility study and a premise for proceeding with next level.
Currently, the project feasibility study is being reviewed for approval by EVNCPC, and consulting, designing works of the project is being prepared in parallel for implementation as soon as possible.
Author: Trần Đình Phúc