Southeast Asia's largest hydroelectric power facility inaugurated

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung inaugurated the 2,400-MW Son La hydropower project on Dec. 23, HydroWorld.com has learned. Located on the Da River in north Vietnam, the hydropower plant is the largest of its kind in the region. 

The plant boasts a 453 feet by 300 feet concrete dam, and six turbines with a total capacity of 2,400 MW. The project was constructed to generate power for the Vietnamese grid, serve as a domestic water source during dry seasons and a diversion bay in the rainy seasons, and provide an economic boost for the north-western region of Vietnam.

The first turbine came online in 2010, five years after construction began. All six turbines were online by October 2012, marking completion of the hydropower project three years ahead of schedule.  

The prime minister spoke optimistically of the project, stating that the plant, which was both constructed and designed by Vietnamese engineers, is a significant milestone in Vietnamese power development. He also took the opportunity to encourage investment and development of the nearby Lai Chau hydropower project. Lastly, Dung prompted leaders of Son La and surrounding provinces to provide both farm land and employment opportunities for the more than 20,000 households displaced to make room for the plant.

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