500kV Circuit 3 Transmission Line Still Faces Significant Right of Way Challenges

The 500 kV Line 3 Quang Trach - Pho Noi Project is a critical project that requires urgent construction to ensure energy security, but it is currently facing many obstacles regarding land clearance.

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At the online meeting discussing the progress of the 500kV transmission line projects, which was chaired by Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien on February 16th, many relevant agencies, ministries, and localities made valuable contributions.

Lack of land due to forest conversion regulations

Progress of the projects has achieved positive results so far. According to Nguyen Anh Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), power sector units have cooperated with localities to enhance communication and persuade households to agree to receive advance compensation payments and early handover of land to investors. Currently, a total of 1075 out of 1180 (approximately 91%) base positions and 124 out of 503 (approximately 25%) anchor points have been handed over for 4 projects.

Construction position of the 175 500kV transmission line in Cam Thach commune, Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh – Photo: EVN

Specifically, the 500kV Nam Dinh 1 – Thanh Hoa line has handed over 180 out of 180 base positions and 35 out of 75 anchor points; the 500kV Nam Dinh 1 – Pho Noi line has achieved 327 out of 334 base positions and 89 out of 136 anchor points; the 500kV Quang Trach – Quynh Luu line has reached 404 out of 463 base positions and 0 out of 194 anchor points; and the 500kV Quynh Luu – Thanh Hoa line has secured 164 out of 203 base positions and 0 out of 98 anchor points…

“However, the projects still face difficulties and challenges in forest land conversion for temporary roads and structures. There are no regulations/guidelines for temporary public road areas and temporary material storage areas to support construction, which may affect project implementation progress,” said Tuan, adding that although the conversion area for natural forest purposes for the base has been approved by the Prime Minister in investment decision-making resolutions.

“During the technical design stage, accurate design solution coordinates may differ, leading to difficulties in reviewing and approving forest land conversion files in provinces,” said Tuan Anh.

Regarding land acquisition difficulties, Nguyen Anh Tuan added that for base column foundation positions, there are still 105 positions not yet handed over and 64 positions already handed over but cannot be implemented due to obstacles. In addition, meeting the urgent progress requirements makes it extremely difficult to mobilize 240 pile drivers and piling machines at the same time.

Still a long way to go

At the meeting, representatives of localities where the projects pass through such as Quang Binh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, etc. also mentioned obstacles in terms of land acquisition, as well as commitment to mobilize people and early handover of construction positions and anchor points according to local commitments and project requirements.

In conclusion, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien also pointed out many difficulties and challenges that relevant ministries and localities need to cooperate in resolving. Construction units have worked during Tet, regardless of the weather, to meet work requirements. However, there still remains a considerable gap compared to commitments made to the Prime Minister.

“If we do not make more effort, it will be very difficult for the project to achieve the set progress, especially in handing over the 105 base positions. The project requires the consensus of localities, ministries, and investors to complete the project’s workload as soon as possible,” emphasized Minister Nguyen Hong Dien.

Construction positions 45 belong to Nghia Hung district, Nam Dinh – Photo: EVN

Minister Nguyen Hong Dien also requested related ministries, sectors, and localities to proactively review the tasks and work assigned by the Government in order to concentrate and coordinate resolution in February 2024, basically resolving any obstacles during the implementation process, from base land, construction, administrative procedures, to help investors implement the project. Currently, the most pressing issue is resolving obstacles regarding forest land conversion and temporary construction roads.

“Localities that have not yet handed over base positions or those that have already handed over but cannot be implemented need to complete them urgently. They need to be handed over before February 20th so that investors and construction units can proceed. For corridor base positions, they must be completed no later than March 15th to ensure conditions for construction by contractors,” said Minister Nguyen Hong Dien.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien also requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to report to the Prime Minister to consider amending, supplementing, and improving Decree 156, to facilitate issues regarding forest land conversion. EVN/EVNNPT units urgently need to provide relevant documents for localities to coordinate in a land acquisition and compensation process; work closely with contractors to promptly implement assigned base positions and complete the contractor selection process for remaining packages within February 2024.