Phu Quoc blackouts vex tour investors
Persistent power shortages in Phu Quoc belie the island district’s reputation as a major tourist destination in the country, residents and investors say.
The island district in southern Kien Giang Province still relies mainly on small and scattered diesel-fuelled generators for its electricity needs, authorities say.
Diesel-fuelled generators costing from hundreds to tens of thousands of US dollars are used by producers of the fish sauce that the island is famous for, as well as hotels which serve visitors lured by its natural beauty.
Both foreign and domestic investors have complained about the frequent and sudden blackouts on the island.
Proprietors say that the high cost of operating diesel-fuelled generators inflicts significant losses when their hotels operate at limited capacity.
Last month, US-based Synergy corporation introduced wind power generators to nearly 200 enterprises on the island.
But the prices of these machines are out of reach for most enterprises, and only Son Phat, a private enterprise, has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a wind-power station for US$200,000.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry disclosed last month that a 110 kV undersea cable will be installed by the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) to provide power to Phu Quoc.
At present, about 150 domestic and overseas investors have registered for tourism development projects in Phu Quoc and 46 projects covering 2000 hectares have been approved.
(Source: SGT, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/09/805494/)
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