Sơn La Dam

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Sơn La Dam
Sơn La Dam.JPG
Sơn La Dam is located in Vietnam
Sơn La Dam
Location of Sơn La Dam in Vietnam
LocationÍt Ong, Mường La District, Sơn La Province
Coordinates21°29′47″N 103°59′42″E / 21.49639°N 103.99500°E / 21.49639; 103.99500Coordinates: 21°29′47″N 103°59′42″E / 21.49639°N 103.99500°E / 21.49639; 103.99500
Construction began2005
Opening date2012
Owner(s)Vietnam Electricity
Dam and spillways
Type of damConcrete gravity dam
ImpoundsDa River
Height138 m (453 ft)
Length1,000 m (3,300 ft)
Width (base)90 m (295 ft)
Spillway capacity35,000 m3/s (1,200,000 cu ft/s)
Total capacity3.1 km3 (0.74 cu mi)
Surface area440 km2 (170 sq mi)
Power Station
Commission date2010
Turbines6 x 400 MW Francis type
Installed capacity2,400 MW
Annual generation10,246 GWh

Sơn La Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Black River in Ít Ong, Mường La District, Sơn La Province, Vietnam. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in Southeast Asia.[1]


The project was proposed in the 1970s. Several studies were carried out, including by the Moscow Institute of Hydroelectric and Industry, Electricity and Power Distribution Company (Japan), Designing Research and Production Shareholding Company (Moscow) and SWECO (Sweden). In May 2000, the National Assembly of Vietnam postponed the decision due to lack of information on relocation and compensation plans and for feasibility studies for a scaled-down version of the dam. The project was approved by the National Assembly in December 2002.[2] Construction of the dam began on 2 December 2005.[1][3][4]

On 17 December 2010, the first turbine was connected to the power grid.[1][3] It was officially put into operation on 7 January 2011.[5] The second turbine was put to operation on 10 May 2011, the third turbine on 20 October 2011, the fourth turbine on 22 December 2011, the fifth turbine on 30 April 2012, and the sixth turbine on 26 September 2012.[6][7][8][9] The project was completed on 20 December 2012.[4][9]


The dam is an RCC Gravity Dam 138 metres (453 ft) high and 90 metres (300 ft) wide at the base.[10][11] Its length is over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).[11] It was designed by Hydroproject of Russia.

The power plant consists of six turbines with generating capacity of 400 MW each.[1][3][5] It has a total capacity of 2,400 MW with an expected annual generation of 10,246 GWh.[5] The total cost of the project was US$2 billion.[3] The plant is owned by Vietnam Electricity.[5] Turbines are installed by Lilama Joint Stock Co No 10.[6]


The project required displacement of more than 91,000 ethnic minority people, the largest resettlement in Vietnam's history.[12] Two pilot resettlement sites were established in 2003, and resettlement started in 2005.[2][12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Huge hydro plant starts operation in Vietnam, says official". Intellasia News Services. 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  2. ^ a b Lang, Chris (April 2003). "Vietnam starts resettlement to make way for massive Son La dam". World Rainforest Movement. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  3. ^ a b c d "2,400-MW Son La Hydro Project Starts Generating Power in Vietnam". HydroWorld. PennWell Corporation. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  4. ^ a b "Son La hydro-power plant completed three years ahead of schedule". VietnamNet Bridge. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  5. ^ a b c d "About 2b KWh to join national grid". Kinh Te Vietnam & The Gioi. Intellasia News Services. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  6. ^ a b "Lilama 10 prepares for installing rotor for second turbine in Son La power plant". Intellasia News Services. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  7. ^ "The fourth unit of Son La Project in Vietnam, designed by the specialists of "Institute Hydroproject", has been put into commercial operation" (Press release). Hydroproject. 2011-12-22. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  8. ^ "Fifth turbine in Son La hydropower plant ready to join national grid". Kinh Te Vietnam & The Gioi. Intellasia News Services. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  9. ^ a b "Son La hydropower plant completed ahead of schedule". Saigon Times Daily. Intellasia News Services. 2012-12-27. Archived from the original on 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  10. ^ "Son La Dam, Vietnam". Soil Instruments Ltd. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  11. ^ a b "Cracks found on Vietnam's Son La dam". The Earth Times. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  12. ^ a b "Son La Hydropower Project". International Rivers. Retrieved 2011-01-22.

External links[edit]

  • Son La Dam - Vietnam National Committee on Large Dams