Home » News

The requirement for power lines underground

19 September 2009 1,041 views No Comment

VietNamNet Bridge – Huge towers and snaking electricity lines are a blight on the landscape, discourage development and decrease property values in HCM City’s outskirts, said officials and residents in several areas, who are asking the power grid to be moved underground.

Electricity experts attributed the problem to short-sighted budgeting, too-rapid urbanisation and unforeseen population growth in the previously unoccupied areas. The city has plans to bury all power lines, but not quickly enough to meet the pace of development.

In Nha Be district, an area of 220 ha is covered by the above-ground power grid, which is planned to expand at least another 24ha in the near future, said the deputy chairman the district People’s Committee, Bui Hoa An.

There are 11 different electricity lines carrying 110-500 kV current bypassing six communes and a township, a study by the district has shown.

Three Nha Be communes adjacent to the luxurious new urban zone in District 7’s Phu My Hung are particularly at risk. Phuoc Kieng, Long Thoi and Nhon Duc communes are ripe for investment because of their location and new roads, but investment projects have been hindered by the power lines – whose occupied area, ironically, would increase with more development in those areas, An said.

Meanwhile, across town in Cu Chi district, a messy power grid – 30m wide and going on for tens of kilometres – is visible along National Highway No 22 and Provincial Road No 15.

Cu Chi resident Nguyen Van Can said electricity lines ate up 0.16ha of his land, making it unsellable. “One square metre of land here costs VND5 million (US$28), but no one wants to buy mine at even half that cost because they fear the electric lines,” said Can. He wants the power cables moved underground.

Cu Chi’s Tan Phu Trung industrial park, the areas nearby Tan Tao industrial park in Binh Tan district and part of Binh Chanh district also bear sections of the city’s grid.

That’s because 20 years ago, no one knew those places would be valuable land.

Power projects are usually planned five to 10 years before they are actually kicked off, said the director of EVN’s Southern Region based Electricity Projects management board, Nguyen Tien Hai. Electricity – and urban-planners could not have imagined the fast rate of urbanisation in Nha Be district when they set up the projects, he said.

But even if they had, Hai said, the planners probably would have ruled out underground power lines because, at the time, they cost double the price of hanging lines on poles.

EVN’s project board had tried to reduce the amount of land wasted on the over-ground grid by hanging many lines on the same poles, but that only worked when every line went in the same direction, Hai said. More poles were added to carry power in different directions.

An expert in HCM City Institution of Planning and Construction agreed that the Nha Be grid made sense in the context of past city plans, which only accounted for the urban development in Phu My Hung.

The city plans to put all lines underground, but at this rate, only districts 1 and 3 will be power-pole free by 2015.

So to spur the work, the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade will allot separate funds to bury part of the Nha Be power grid.

The department recently unveiled plans for Nha Be Metrocity, a 320ha project requiring one kilometre of power lines to be moved underground by 2011 – at a cost to the city of VND1 trillion ($56 million).

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Copyright of VietNamNet Bridge

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments are closed.