Con Dao waits to be connected to national power grid

Con Dao Islands off the coast of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has an important and special geographical location with much potential to become a tourist paradise. However, the district is still confronted with the shortage of electricity and freshwater.
Tourists visit a complex of prisons in Con Dao island.
Tourists visit a complex of prisons in Con Dao island.

According to the Decision No. 870/QD-TTg dated June 17, 2015 of the Prime Minister approving the “Master plan for development of Con Dao National Tourist Resort, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province to 2030”, the islands was expected to receive more than 180,000 visitors in 2020 and 300,000 tourists by 2030.

Thanks to the convenient transport system, nearly 400,000 travelers came to Con Dao in 2019, presenting an increase of 37 percent compared to 2018; and the number of tourists reached 320,000 in 2020 despite the negative impact of the pandemic.

The growing tourism of Con Dao Islands leads to a higher demand for power.

Most resorts on the islands, such as Six Senses Con Dao, Saigon-Con Dao must have electric generators to produce enough power to meet demand for electricity.

Additionally, Con Dao is also facing a risk of water shortage while it has only one water treatment plant with a capacity of 3,800m3 per day. The water supply is inadequate to meet demand.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province plans to build another water plant with a capacity of 3,000m3 a day and three fresh water storage reservoirs, said Vice Secretary of the Party’s Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Con Dao District, Le Van Phong.

Con Dao has become one of the attractive destinations, drawing a large number of local and foreign investors. The district has currently 30 projects worth nearly VND4,000 billion (US$173 million), including 13 projects that have been put into operation, eight others under construction and nine remaining works having completed investment procedures.

In last November, the provincial People’s Committee has proposed the Prime Minister to approve a project of installing underground cables from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to Con Dao to supply electricity for the district.

The development of tourism in combination with the preservation of cultural and historical heritages is a big challenge for the province, said Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Pham Viet Thanh.

However, the current supply of electricity on Con Dao Islands has not satisfied the power consumption demand of the people, business and production facilities in the district as well as activities to secure national security. The province hopes to receive the Government’s approval on the plan of building a national power grid in Con Dao soon, including installing underground cables from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to the islands, he added.

The 16-island archipelago Con Dao is located around 180 km off Vung Tau City in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, about 230 kilometers southeast of HCMC. It is well known for nice wild beaches with white sand, deep blue water and colorful coral reefs. French colonialists and the American turned the islands into a prison to jail Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers in the wartime. The offshore relic has attracted many local and foreign visitors in recent years.

The islands, also known as Con Dao National park was recognized the world Ramsar site as it has satisfied criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance. The National Park covering some 14,000 ha of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province in the South includes a part of the archipelago and the surrounding sea. It is home to 144 species, including rare and endangered animals, such as sea turtles.

One of the must-visit attractions in Con Dao is Hang Duong cemetery which holds 22,000 graves of martyrs. Many visitors and locals come here to offer incense to pay tribute to fallen soldiers and pray for their lives and the country. Therefore, Con Dao's spiritual tourism is one of the key tourist products in the province’s tourism industry.