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Address of H.E. Vice Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium "ASIA 2008"
I appreciate the Editorial Board of the International Journal on “Hydropower & Dams” ...

Address of

H.E. Vice Prime Minister

Hoang Trung Hai

H.E. Vice Prime Minister

Hoang Trung Hai

at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium

ASIA 2008  -Water Resources &

Renewable Energy Development in Asia

Da Nang, March 10th 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, I warmly welcome the delegates at the Symposium “ASIA 2008 - Water Resources & Renewable Energy Development in Asia.

I appreciate the Editorial Board of the International Journal on “Hydropower & Dams” for their collaboration with the Vietnam National Commission on Large Dams and other organizations to hold this important Symposium.

H.E. Vice Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai warmly welcomed at the Symposium by

Mrs. Alison Bartle, Editor-in-Chief of the Int. J. on Hydropower & Dams.

This Symposium under the heading “Water Resources & Renewable Energy Development in Asia” relates to water resources, energy, infrastructure, environment, natural disaster mitigation, climate change, which are debating issues in all countries, especially developing ones including Vietnam.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Water resources in Vietnam rank medium capacity in the world, but they have various unsustainable factors. Vietnam has to cope with water shortage based on the water volume in the river basin in the dry season. Some areas in the country such as South Central and South East regions do not have enough water. Water resources have become precious for recent years since the demand for water is increasing, and many rivers are polluting.

H.E. Vice Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai & Mrs. Alison Bartle co-chaired the solemn Open Ceremony

The total surface water volume in Vietnam is 840 billion m3/year, the population is approximately 85.3 million. We are facing many challenges including: (i) uneven distribution in terms of time and space, 80% of the water volume focuses in 2 rainy months causing floods in the rainy season, and droughts become increasingly serious in the dry season; (ii) 60% of the water volume originates from outside of the country, which is difficult to control in both terms of quality and quantity, and requires a multilateral cooperation; and (iii) limited water resources are decreasing while the population are growing and water demand for socio-economic development is increasing, requiring a stability in terms of quantity, quality and frequency.  

It is predicted that the water demand until 2010 in Vietnam will increase to 130 billion cubic meters per year due to the population increase, urbanization, industrialization, which is 40% of the water capacity in the country and 75% of the water volume in the dry season (about 170 billion cubic meters). It shows a clear and serious situation of water shortage, especially in the coming years. 

Vietnam has spent decades in the development of reservoirs for hydropower and irrigation. Hydropower and irrigation contribute significantly in exploitation and utilization of water resources for food and energy security, and socio-economic development of the country. 

So far, the total capacity of 54 billion cubic meters for hydropower reservoirs of over 30 megawatt has been planned until 2010, accounting for 20% of 270 billion cubic meters in different river basins. There are about 2000 irrigation reservoirs (200,000 cubic meters and more each), with total capacity of 5.82 billion cubic meters for irrigation of 500,000 ha.

Regarding renewable energy, the theoretical potential capacity in Vietnam is approximately 300 billion kWh, however, only 30% of that can be exploited for 14,000 megawatt capacity and 80 billion kWh. Completed and operating hydropower plants only reach nearly 20% of that capacity. Some large hydropower plants have been under construction, of which the Son La Hydropower Plant of 2400 MW will operate the first turbine by 2010, and the other 6 turbines are put into operation by 2012. Besides, we have a plan of 512 small size hydropower projects with total capacity of 3,501 MW, of which 84 projects of 1,500 MW have been approved, and 15 plants of 370 MW have produced power.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The impacts of hydropower and irrigation reservoirs on water resources are significant. Therefore it requires comprehensive consideration and evaluation of the development process, from the planning and designing steps to the construction and operation, in order to maximize the benefits of water resources, mitigate the negative impacts on water resources and reduce the consequences due to the changes in the river basin.

For water security and efficient use of this renewable energy for sustainable development and environmental protection, the Prime Minister of Vietnam has issued the National Strategy on Water Resources until 2020 and the Strategy for Energy Development in Vietnam until 2020. These strategies specify targets for conservation and development of water resources, development of renewable energy, water resource pollution control, water resources distribution between sectors, priority for human use, water for agricultural production on 10.5 million of ha of land area each year, food security, uniformity in planning and socio-economic development, land use planning, forest development in the national water resource development plan.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In order to achieve the above strategic targets, we understand that the close collaboration and learning experiences in management, technologies between countries are very important. Therefore, this Symposium is a precious opportunity for our Vietnamese scientists and managers to learn, share and exchange knowledge.

I hope the participants share and exchange their ideas to enrich the experiences and solutions for the objectives and implications of the Symposium.

I wish the Symposium success and all of you have a useful and good time in the Central of Vietnam with our hospitality.



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