Hydropower dam owners ignoring safety checks to be fined

VietNamNet Bridge – Owners and operators of hydropower dams will be fined VND150-200 million if they do not conduct routine safety checks, according to a draft Government decree on sanctions for violations in the power sector.

Previously, there were only sanctions against improper operation of reservoirs, while other violations simply resulted in reprimands.

The penalty of VND150-200 million will also be imposed on those failing to immediately report to the authorities on the results of permeability measurement, excessive relocation of hydropower dams and troubles when operating floodgates during the flooding season.

The draft decree on sanctions for violations in the power sector, hydropower dam safety and energy efficiency compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is currently opened for comment. It will be submitted to the Government in the second quarter of this year.

In addition to the main punishment, violators may have their licenses revoked until safety checks, repairs and upgrades are done.

According to a report that the trade ministry sent to the National Assembly in November 2012, half of 66 hydropower dams subject to periodic inspections had not been examined as of October. They included seven large-scale dams with capacity of over 30 MW each.

Speaking to the Daily last August, Cao Anh Dung, deputy head of the Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency under the trade ministry, said 151 small-scale hydropower projects of below 30 MW had begun operations and were managed by local governments.

However, 88 of these 151 projects did not have regulations for operation of reservoirs and plans for tackling floods. In addition, they did not carry out dam safety checks regularly.

Violations against hydropower dam safety pose many threats to downstream areas. While hydropower dam owners in such cases lack a sense of responsibility, the authorities have limited knowledge of dam and reservoir management.

As for violations involving lack of energy efficiency, the draft decree sets a penalty of VND100 million for installing generators with outdated technology and low performance. Those providing inaccurate energy audit reports will be fined VND50-60 million.

In addition, the draft decree suggests a penalty of VND160-200 million for import of equipment and vehicles not meeting technical and energy efficiency standards. In addition, such equipment and vehicles must be re-exported or destroyed.

Source: SGT

Hydropower dams, power sector, flooding season